(Corrects quote in paragraph 5 to clarify Barry Ritholtz said Obama's speech could be a relief to some traders, not that he finds it a relief.)
NEW YORK - U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday in the wake of President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech, which had no new plans to tighten Wall Street oversight, and after strong results from Procter & Gamble Co and Ford Motor Co.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's nomination for a second term heads for a Senate vote on Thursday, and polls show he has a majority needed to overcome efforts to block his appointment.
In the speech, Obama put job creation at the top of his agenda and, while pledging tough rules for Wall Street, said he was not interested in punishing banks.
He promised not to abandon his struggle to overhaul healthcare, placing stocks in related sectors in the spotlight.
There wasn't anything game-changing in the speech and nothing new that will really impact banks, which some traders may be relieved by said Barry Ritholtz, director of equity research at Fusion IQ in New York.
There's also some relief that the Bernanke vote will soon be behind us.
Investors also looked to a number of strong corporate results. Procter & Gamble
Dow components 3M Co
S&P 500 futures rose 4.9 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 46 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 7 points.
Economic data for Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims, which are forecast to fall to 450,000, and December durable good orders, which are expected to rise 2 percent, according to a poll of economists by Reuters. The National Activity index for December is also on tap, with all the data scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m.
The expectation is that durable goods could be soft because of the weak housing market, Ritholtz said. The housing data we've seen this week has been weak and weaker, so its hard to imagine there's going to be a big upside surprise.
Overseas, Nokia Corp
U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday after the Fed pledged to keep interest rates near zero, and Apple Inc
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)