US STOCKS-Futures flat as turbulent quarter draws to close
* Futures down: Dow 8 pts, S&P 2 pts, Nasdaq 4.75 pts
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday, the last day of a turbulent first quarter for financial markets as investors fled from risk amid worries about global growth.
* Global stocks fell, while safe-haven gold and bonds rose as investors closed off positions for the quarter.
* Investors' nerves were soothed this week by U.S. Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen's comments that the central bank should be cautious with raising interest rates.
* Yellen's remarks helped quell speculation that the Fed could be aggressive with its plan to raise rates and pushed stocks to their highest this year.
* The S&P 500 is now up nearly 1 percent for the year after being down as much as 10.5 percent in February.
* While recent data has signaled strength in the labor market, the critical non-farm payrolls report on Friday will give investors a clearer reading on the state of the economy.
* Data due on Thursday is expected to show jobless claims held steady at 265,000 last week, well below the 300,000 mark denoting a healthy labor market. Continuación...