* Initial jobless claims, chain store sales data on tap
* Labor market conditions seen improving: Bullard
* Futures down: S&P 3.8 pts, Dow 29 pts, Nasdaq 5.75 pts
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By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures dipped on Thursday along with global markets, as investors awaited data expected to show a rise in initial jobless claims, one day before the closely watched monthly non-farm payrolls report.
* The Labor Department will release weekly first-time claims numbers for jobless benefits at 8:30 a.m. EST [1330 GMT]. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast 447,000 new filings, compared with 432,000 in the prior week. On Friday, the government will release the monthly non-farm payrolls employment.
* The ICSC releases chain store sales for December versus a year ago. In the previous month, sales fell 0.3 percent from a year ago.
* St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said Thursday the U.S. labor market is improving and the economy is close to the point where unemployment will start to fall. For details, see [ID:nTOE60607D]
* Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig will speak on the U.S. economic outlook later Thursday.
* S&P 500 futures SPc1 lost 3.8 points and were 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 fell 29 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc1 dropped 5.75 points.
* European stocks were down 0.5 percent at midday Thursday in their first broad retreat this year. [ID:nLDE606150]
* Bed Bath & Beyond Inc BBBY.O rose 6.3 percent to $41.70 in extended trading Wednesday after the home goods retailer reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit. [ID:nWNBB5917]
* British confectioner Cadbury Plc’s CBRY.L shares dipped below the level of Kraft Foods Inc’s KFT.N $17 billion bid for the first time Thursday as prospects of a rival bid receded. [ID:nLDE60604E]
* A former senior executive at Citigroup Inc C.N has decided to take legal action to force the company to resume paying his multimillion dollar severance package that has been frozen for six months, the Financial Times reported. [ID:nSGE606045]
* Shares in Ruby Tuesday Inc RT.N jumped nearly 6 percent to $8.10 after the bell after the restaurant operator posted a surprise quarterly profit and revenue above expectations. [ID:nN06163059]
* Shares in Zumiez Inc ZUMZ.O rose more than 12 percent to $14.24 after the bell after the apparel retailer forecast fourth-quarter profit above estimates. [ID:nSGE6050JQ]
* Apollo Group Inc APOL.O is to report quarterly results.
* For non-farm payrolls, economists look for a loss of 8,000 non-farm jobs after a surprisingly small total of 11,000 job losses in November. The unemployment rate is seen at 10.1 percent versus 10 percent in November. (Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)