US STOCKS-Futures drop after ECB decision; data eyed

* European Central Bank leaves monetary policy unchanged

* Jobless claims, productivity data on tap

* Futures off: S&P 3.2 pts, Dow 21 pts; Nasdaq 4.5 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Adds byline, quote)

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, May 6 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures fell
on Thursday after the European Central Bank left monetary
policy unchanged, disappointing investors looking to the ECB to
prevent a debt crisis from engulfing the euro zone.

The decision was expected, but some investors were
disappointed the central bank took no action as confidence in
the euro has been badly shaken on fears the euro-zone debt
crisis would spread. For details, see [ID:nN06249133]

The euro extended losses to hit a new 14-month low against
the dollar on Thursday following the rate decision.

Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners
in New York said the decision to keep the monetary policy
unchanged was expected but “with the euro collapsing, investors
who wanted to see some sort of a defensive movement by the
ECB.”

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) fell 3.2 points and slightly below
fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into
account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: ) dropped
21 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) dipped 4.5 points.

The S&P 500 has fallen 3 percent for the week as euro-zone
concerns triggered a broad sell-off.

Investors will focus on weekly first-time claims for
jobless benefits due from the Labor Department at 8:30 a.m. EDT
[1230 GMT] Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of
440,000 new claims, compared with 448,000 in the prior week.

The Labor Department also releases preliminary
first-quarter productivity and unit labor cost data at 8:30
a.m. EDT (1230 GMT). Economists look for a rise of 2.5 percent
in productivity versus a 6.9 percent increase in the prior
period. Unit labor costs are expected to fall 0.7 percent
compared with a 5.9 decline in the previous report.

Kraft Foods Inc (KFT.N: ) is due to report quarterly results,
and analysts expect earnings of 45 cents per share, unchanged
from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) sagged Wednesday as violent protests erupted in
Greece and fears grew that the Greek debt crisis could spread
to other European economies. The euro’s sharp drop pushed
investors into safe havens like U.S. Treasurys and the dollar.
Investment

(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Futures drop after ECB decision; data eyed