* Futures down: Dow 142 pts, S&P 15.5 pts, Nasdaq 23 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
April 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures followed global shares sharply lower on Thursday after the Bank of Japan stunned markets by holding off from expanding monetary stimulus.
* The BOJ's decision to hold steady in the face of soft global demand and a rise in the yen was particularly jarring for markets after media reports ahead of the meeting said it wanted to go deeper into negative interest rates.
* The BOJ's decision comes a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to hold steady on rates and after fears eased that the Fed would signal a rise in June.
* While the labor market continues to gain strength, inflation remains below the central bank's 2 percent target.
* Investors will also keep an eye on first-quarter gross domestic product number scheduled to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT). GDP probably rose at a 0.7 percent annual rate after a 1.4 percent pace in the fourth quarter as domestic demand cooled.
* Another piece of data is expected to show that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits has risen to 260,000 last week from 247,000 the week before.
* Economists polled by Reuters expect two rate increases this year but futures prices show traders do not expect a hike until at least September, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.
* The Dow and S&P 500 closed slightly higher on Wednesday, while Nasdaq was dragged down by poor results from Apple .
* First-quarter corporate earnings are expected to fall 6.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
* Facebook shares jumped 9.4 percent to $119.15 in premarket trading and were set to open at a record high, a day after the company's revenue rose 50 percent.
* Potash fell 5.6 percent to $17.20 after the company cut its 2016 profit forecast.
* St. Jude Medical soared 29 percent to $79.90 after Abbott Laboratories said it agreed to buy the medical device maker for $25 billion. Abbott was down 4.2 percent at $42.05.
Futures snapshot at 7:03 a.m. ET:
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 15.5 points, or 0.74 percent, with 253,875 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 23 points, or 0.52 percent, on volume of 34,293 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were down 142 points, or 0.79 percent, with 37,662 contracts changing hands. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Don Sebastian)