US STOCKS-Futures gain ahead of ECB rate decision

Last Updated: Thu, May 02, 2013 19:30 hrs

* ECB set for rate cut as inflation falls sharply

* China, India PMIs show factory sector growth stumbling

* International trade, jobless claims data on tap

* Futures: S&P up 5 pts, Dow up 23 pts, Nasdaq up 8 pts

NEW YORK, May 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday ahead of the European Central Bank's decision on interest rates and its assessment on the state of the euro zone's economy.

* The European Central Bank is expected to cut its main interest rate for the first time in 10 months on Thursday, amid an economy wallowing in recession and a slump in inflation. The rate decision is due at 7:45 a.m. EDT (1145 GMT), followed by a news conference at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

* S&P 500 futures added 5 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 23 points while Nasdaq 100 futures added 8 points.

* General Motors Co and Kellogg Co are expected to report results Thursday.

* In U.S. macroeconomic news, international trade data and weekly jobless claims data are due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

* U.S. stocks had fallen sharply on Wednesday, with the Dow ending its four-day winning streak, as the latest economic data continued a trend of indicators pointing to anemic growth while bellwether companies disappointed on revenue.

* Wednesday's decline came as the Federal Reserve said it would keep its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program in place, but may cut or increase that program depending on the state of the economy. Data showing weaker-than-expected hiring in the private sector added momentum to a selloff in equities.

* Factory sector growth in China and India stumbled in April to further underline the impact of a fragile global economy, under pressure from the euro zone recession and fresh signals of weakness in the United States.

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