US STOCKS-Futures down as oil falls; jobless claims data awaited
* Futures down: Dow 43 pts, S&P 6.5 pts, Nasdaq 12 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
June 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Thursday as a rally in oil prices ended, and ahead of weekly jobless claims data, the first labor report since dismal May payrolls numbers jolted markets last Friday.
* Oil fell nearly 1 percent as traders took profits after prices rose for three days in a row following a weakening dollar. The dollar has fallen since the monthly jobs report reduced the chances of an interest rate hike in the near term.
* The weaker dollar not only boosts commodities, but is beneficial to U.S. multinationals that derive a large portion of their sales from overseas.
* The stock markets have rallied the past three days. The Dow closed above the 18,000 mark on Wednesday for the first time since April. The S&P 500 is less than 1 percent shy of its record intraday high.
* A report due 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) is likely to show initial jobless claims increased by 3,000 to 270,000 last week.
* Investors will parse the data to gauge if May's weaker-than-expected jobs report was a blip or was a sign of an underlying weakness in the labor market.
* While Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the report was disappointing, she painted a broadly upbeat picture of the economy. But she was vague on the timing of the next interest rate hike. Continuación...