* Futures down: Dow 87 pts, S&P 8.75 pts, Nasdaq 18.25 pts
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures dropped on Thursday, indicating there would be little respite from this year’s selloff, sparked by a steep drop in oil prices and growing fears of a global economic slowdown.
* Crude oil prices fell about 1 percent, but were holding steady near 12-year lows. Prices are down more than 25 percent this year, drowning under persistent oversupply, and have been a key driver of the global cross-asset rout.
* Global markets were mixed on Thursday: Asian stocks fell, but European indexes were up slightly as investors await the outcome of an European Central Bank meeting.
* The ECB is expected to hold interest rates at record lows and traders will be watching for the bank’s reaction to the turmoil in global markets. President Mario Draghi holds a news conference at 1330 GMT (8:30 a.m. ET).
* A volatile session on Wall Street on Wednesday ended with the S&P 500 closing at its lowest since October 2014.
* The S&P 500 has declined 9 percent this year due to collapsing oil prices and fears of a slowdown in China, the world’s second-largest economy and a key market for U.S. companies.
* U.S. jobless claims is likely to have dropped to 278,000 last week, from 284,000 the previous week, data due at 8:30 a.m. ET is expected to show.
* Investors are keeping a close eye on economic data for a bearing on the Federal Reserve’s next move on interest rates, while also assessing corporate earnings reports.
* Southwest Airlines shares was up 1.8 percent at $40 premarket after the carrier’s results met expectations.
* Dow components Travelers and Verizon inched up after both companies reported a profit that topped expectations.
* Kinder Morgan was up 2.8 percent at $12.35 after the pipeline company swung to a quarterly loss.
* American Express, Starbucks and Schlumberger are slated to report after the close.
Futures snapshot at 7:02 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were down 87 points, or 0.55 percent, with 72,518 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 8.75 points, or 0.47 percent, with 396,235 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 18.25 points, or 0.44 percent, on volume of 78,777 contracts.
Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza