US STOCKS-Futures rise ahead of weekly jobs data
* Futures up: Dow 54 pts, S&P 5.25 pts, Nasdaq 13.25 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Aug 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday as oil prices steadied and investors awaited the weekly jobless claims data for hints of a strengthening labor market.
* Brent crude futures were up 0.18 percent at $44.12 after the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast a gradual draw in stocks through the third quarter.
* Wall Street closed lower on Wednesday, albeit in low volume trading, as a 2 percent drop in oil prices pulled its major indexes away from record levels.
* The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits is expected to have slipped by 4,000 to 265,000 last week, continuing a trend of being below the 300,000 mark for the 75th consecutive week. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).
* Shares of Alibaba jumped nearly 5 percent premarket after the Chinese e-commerce giant reported a 59 percent rise in quarterly revenue. Yahoo, which owns a stake in Alibaba, rose 2.4 percent.
* Kohl's, which kicks off the two-day department stores earnings period, rose 3.8 percent to $39.50 after its second-quarter revenue beat estimates. Shares of Macy's, which is to report at 8:00 a.m. ET, rose 1.5 percent, while Nordstrom, whose earnings are due after markets close, was slightly higher.
* Better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and a set of strong economic data have pushed the S&P 500 to a series of record intraday highs since July. Continuación...