US STOCKS-Futures flat ahead of economic data, ECB meeting
* Futures up: Dow 11 pts, S&P 1.5 pts, Nasdaq 1.5 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
Sept 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday as investors awaited weekly jobless claims data and a European Central Bank decision that may hint at more monetary stimulus.
* Nearly all analysts polled by Reuters expect ECB rates to remain unchanged, though there is speculation that President Mario Draghi will announce an extension of its 80 billion euro of monthly asset buys.
* The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits is expected to have increased by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 for the week ended Sept. 3. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).
* U.S. stocks ended little changed on Wednesday, though the Nasdaq eked out another record high close, as investors sought more clarity on the timing of future interest rate hikes.
* Recent economic data, including last Friday's weaker-than-expected jobs report, suggests the U.S. central bank may decide against raising rates when it meets later this month.
* The Fed said on Wednesday afternoon in its Beige Book report of anecdotal information that the U.S. economy expanded at a modest pace in July and August.
* Oil prices rose more than 1.5 percent after U.S. industry data showed a large drawdown in crude stocks, reflecting the temporary impact of an Atlantic storm. Continuación...