NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rosefor a sixth day in seven on Thursday ahead of weekly data thatwas expected to show a tick down in applications forunemployment insurance.
* Data on claims for jobless benefits for the week endedSept. 4 is due at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) and economists in aReuters survey forecast a total of 470,000 new filings comparedwith 472,000 in the prior week.
* Investors will also keep an eye on July internationaltrade data. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a $47.3billion deficit compared with a $49.9 billion deficit in June.
* "Investors are betting that we are probably not far froman economic rebound, and with bonds offering not much of ayield the risk-reward profile in equities is becomingappealing," said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics atLek Securities in New York.
* S&P 500 futures rose 3.8 points and were abovefair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking intoaccount interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on thecontract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 28points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 7.75 points.
* Volume is expected to be low again as the Jewish New Yearis celebrated and many market participants stay on thesidelines. The six lowest volume days of the year have come inthe last month.
* Oil rose 0.6 percent to above $75 a barrel, drawing somestrength from an initial report of falling U.S. inventories.Industry data late on Wednesday surprised the market with newsof a decline in U.S. fuel stockpiles, which have hit recordlevels, but government statistics for release on Thursday couldcontradict that.
* Convenience store operator 7-Eleven is the mystery thirdparty that offered to buy Casey's General Stores Incfor $40 a share, or $2.03 billion, a source familiar with thesituation said on Wednesday. The bid exceeds the $38.50 a shareoffered by Canada's largest convenience store chain,Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc, which has beenembroiled in a hostile takeover bid for the smaller rival sinceApril.
* Goldman Sachs has been fined 17.5 million pounds($27 million) by a UK financial regulator for failing todisclose it was under fraud investigation by its U.S.counterpart.
* European stocks edged higher with miners and banks up asan European Central Bank member expressed optimism on theeconomy, though gains were capped by weaker retailers aftergloomy updates.
* U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday as investors latched ontopositive news out of Europe. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)