LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones (DJI: ^DJI - news) and the Nasdaq 100 up 0.2 to 0.3 percent.
* The Labor Department releases first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended March 9 at 1230 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 350,000 new filings, compared with 340,000 in the prior week.
* The Labor Department also releases the February Producer Price Index at 1230 GMT. Economists forecast a 0.7 percent rise in PPI compared with a 0.2 percent increase in January. Excluding volatile food and energy items, PPI is expected to rise 0.2 percent, a repeat of the January increase.
* Apple Inc (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) marketing chief Phil Schiller attacked Google Inc (NasdaqGS: GOOG - news) 's "fragmented" Android software and its biggest adopter, Samsung Electronics, ahead of the launch of the Korean firm's latest flagship smartphone in the United States on Thursday.
* Google Inc is to retire Google Reader in July, it said on Thursday, citing declining usage for the application that aggregates content served by web feeds.
* European shares rose early on Thursday, with the FTSEurofirst 300 hitting a near five-year high, buoyed by gains for insurer Generali and potash and salt miner K+S after results.
* U.S. stocks edged up on Wednesday, with the Dow rising for the ninth straight session to another record, buoyed by surprisingly strong retail sales that suggested the economy is gaining momentum.
* The Dow Jones industrial average gained 5.22 points, or 0.04 percent, to 14,455.28. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 2.04 points, or 0.13 percent, to 1,554.52. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 2.80 points, or 0.09 percent, to end at 3,245.12.