* Stock markets close at 1 p.m. ET
* Jobless claims fell to 267,000 last week
* Crude prices up marginally
* Futures up: Dow 14 pts, S&P was flat, Nasdaq down 6 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Dec 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks index futures were little changed on Thursday, ahead of a shortened trading session on Christmas eve.
Stock markets will close at 1:00 p.m ET (1800 GMT) and remain shut on Friday for Christmas. Trading volumes is expected to be light on Thursday.
Crude prices were up marginally, with U.S. crude set for gains for the fourth straight day.
European stocks followed a rally on Asian bourses on Thursday, driven by gains in oil.
“Market is going to be on holiday mode. I think we’re going to trade in slow motion for most of the day,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.
Wall Street closed higher on Wednesday for the third straight session this week. The S&P 500 finished 1.24 percent higher, bringing its gain this week to almost 3 percent after a tepid start in December.
At 8:31 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 14 points, or 0.08 percent, with 9,138 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis remained unchanged, with 52,576 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.13 percent, on volume of 7,458 contracts.
Weekly jobless claims fell to 267,000, staying below 300,000 for 42 weeks in a row. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dipping to 270,000 in the latest week.
Chipotle’s shares were up 1.1 percent at $502.88 in very thin premarket trading. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)