Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday after Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo shares jumped nearly 29 percent to $19.14 after the bank said that it expects to report a record $3 billion in net income for the first quarter.
The health of banks has been a crucial factor behind the stock market's sentiment and the news followed a New York Times report that all 19 banks undergoing the government's stress tests will pass, but many of the largest lenders will probably need to be bailed out again.
Shares of Citigroup
The table is set to exceed on the upside for a lot of these guys considering expectations are so low, and certainly Wells Fargo blew the cover off the ball, said Matt McCormick, Portfolio Manager and banking analyst at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel, Inc in Cincinnati.
In this terrible environment, to exceed on the upside is going to raise the bar pretty high.
S&P 500 futures rose 15.50 points and were above 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 gained 127 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 19.50 points.
A bigger than expected drop in initial jobless claims, to 654,000, also contributed to the rise in futures.
Retailers will be in focus as they report monthly sales results. Dow component Wal-Mart
Shares fell 5 percent to $50.
Beleaguered automaker General Motors
Shares of General Motors jumped 9.3 percent to $2.11 in premarket trade.
U.S. stocks snapped a two-day slide on Wednesday on news the government is shoring up life insurers and optimism about consumer spending after Bed Bath & Beyond Inc
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)