Stock index futures rose on Thursday, indicating the S&P 500 may bounce back from its worst day since mid-August as Italian bond yields eased.
Traders said the European Central Bank increased its bond buying, but the ECB's hard-line chief economist told governments not to expect the bank to rescue them with unlimited funds. A pullback in Italian bond yields helped support market sentiment.
Italy paid its highest yield in 14 years to sell 12-month debt on Thursday, and although there was relief the sale went smoothly, worries remained that Italy's borrowing costs were unsustainable.
We are having a little bit of a bounce. The fact that Italy managed to sell its debt under 7 percent at 6.9 percent is easing some fears after the rates climbed above 7 percent yesterday, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
There are hopes this political crisis in Italy will soon be solved.
Former European Commissioner Mario Monti has emerged as the favorite to replace Silvio Berlusconi and form a new government.
Italy, the region's third-largest economy, has replaced Greece at the center of the European debt crisis storm, with the country's borrowing costs at unsustainable levels and Europe unable to afford a bailout.
European shares rose 0.5 percent in choppy trade, while Asian stocks fell on fears over Europe.
S&P 500 futures rose 14 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 climbed 106 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures gained 26.25 points.
The S&P 500 saw its worst daily percentage drop since August 18 on Wednesday. All 10 S&P sectors closed down, with S&P financials <.GSPF> the hardest hit.
Cisco Systems Inc
After the closing bell, Walt Disney Co
Disney will seek to reassure Wall Street that global economic woes have not hurt its nearly $11 billion parks and resorts business or held back an advertising rebound at ESPN and its other cable networks.
First-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended November 5 and import-export prices for October from the Labor Department are due at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT). Economists in a Thomson Reuters survey forecast a total of 400,000 new filings, compared with 397,000 in the prior week.
Also at 8:30 a.m (1330 GMT), the Commerce Department releases September international trade figures.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)