Stock index futures rose on Thursday after Bank of America and Morgan Stanley reported earnings and as strong demand at European bond auctions reflected improved risk appetite.
Bank of America Corp
Fellow financial Morgan Stanley
In a sign that investor nervousness over the euro zone's debt crisis was easing, Spain and France both drew strong demand at government debt auctions.
The European crisis is viewed by investors as having peaked in the past year and we continue to get auctions that work and generally constructive news about the goal of European governments to fix their problem, said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in New York.
To the extent those earnings are going to meet expectations or beat expectations, it is giving a generally positive tone for the rest of the day.
Financial shares have rallied since the start of the year. The S&P financial index <.GSPF> is up more than 7 percent for 2012, helping to push the benchmark S&P 500 index up 4 percent.
Talks between Greece and its creditors were proceeding, sources said, but much more progress was needed before a deal was reached on a bond swap.
Investors hope the next batch of U.S. data will confirm previous reports showing the economy is improving. Coming at 8:30 a.m. EST are the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December and initial jobless claims for the week ended Jan 14.
Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 0.1 percent rise in CPI, compared with no change in November. Jobless claims were expected to show 385,000 new filings versus 399,000 in the prior week.
S&P 500 futures rose 4.8 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 added 38 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 11.5 points.
After the close, profit reports are due from technology bellwethers Google Inc
Late Wednesday, eBay Inc
Eastman Kodak Co
European stocks rose in brisk volume, as the Spanish and French debt sales triggered sector rotation out of defensive issues into banks. <.EU>
Asian shares rose to a two-month high on hopes that the International Monetary Fund would boost its resources to help tackle the euro zone debt crisis.
(Reporting By Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)