* Futures higher: Dow 20 pts, S&P 4 pts, Nasdaq 18.25 pts
By Ankur Banerjee
July 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday, a day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s dovish stand on interest rates allayed investor fears of a tighter monetary policy.
* Yellen’s comments were part of her two-day semi-annual monetary policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. She will resume her testimony at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT).
* Investors cheered Yellen’s view of gradual increase in rates on Wednesday, with world shares hitting their fourth all-time high in less than a month on Thursday.
* The Dow rose to a record high close while U.S. stocks kept their upward momentum on Wednesday following Yellen’s comments.
* The U.S. economy is healthy enough for the Fed to raise rates and begin winding down its massive bond portfolio, though low inflation and a low neutral rate may leave the central bank with diminished leeway, Yellen said on Wednesday.
* Oil prices fell on Thursday on worries about oversupply as the world’s energy watchdog warned that a long-awaited market rebalancing could be delayed due to weak compliance with production cuts among OPEC members.
* The U.S. economy grew at a “slight to moderate” pace over the last several weeks across all regions of the country, with wage pressures reported for both low- and high-skilled jobs, the Federal Reserve reported on Wednesday in its latest compendium of regional economic activity.
* Data from the U.S. Labor Department is expected to show that initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped to 245,000 for the week ended July 8 after rising to 248,000 the week before. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT)
* The Labor Department will also issues its Producer Price Index for June at 8:30 a.m. ET. Annualized PPI final demand is expected to rise 1.9 percent, but lower than 2.4 percent increase in May.
* Investors are keeping an eye on second-quarter earnings reports on Friday from big U.S. banks including JPMorgan Chase , Wells Fargo and Citigroup.
* Investors will also look at data on June Consumer Price Index due on Friday.
Futures snapshot at 6:42 a.m. EDT:
* Dow e-minis were up 20 points, or 0.09 percent, with 11,078 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 4 points, or 0.16 percent, with 89,411 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 18.25 points, or 0.32 percent, on volume of 19,652 contracts.
Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur