Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday with Apple Inc set to boost technology shares after it reported strong sales even as consumers tightened their belts.

Investors also awaited data on existing home sales for March and initial jobless claims. The report on the labor market is expected to show that initial claims at 635,000, according to Reuters data.

Apple posted results after Wednesday's close that topped expectations on strong sales of their popular iPhones and iPods. Apple's shares were up 3.3 percent at $125.55 before the opening bell.

EBay Inc beat Wall Street expectations on earnings and revenue late on Wednesday on cost cuts and growth at its Skype telephone and PayPal payments divisions.

Qualcomm Inc said it was in advanced settlement talks with Broadcom Corp over their legal disputes and that its quarterly results would meet or beat expectations. Qualcomm also rescheduled its earnings report, which had been set to be released after the bell on Wednesday.

S&P 500 futures rose 6.50 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 climbed 59 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 17.75 points.

In the auto sector, the U.S. Treasury raised its offer to Chrysler lenders, sources said on Wednesday, as the embattled automaker races to cut its debt and labor costs and reach an alliance with Italy's Fiat SpA by the end of the month.

Auto dealer representatives meet with the government task force charged with retooling the auto industry to make the case that a bankruptcy for General Motors Corp should not be an option.

Top executives of big banks that accepted federal bailouts -- Bank of America Corp , Wells Fargo & Co , Citigroup Inc and JP Morgan Chase & Co , as well as the heads of some credit card providers -- meet with U.S. President Barack Obama about credit card fees and penalties at 12:45 p.m. EDT.

Microsoft Corp and Inc are among companies that are due to report after the market closes.

The Dow and S&P fell Wednesday after Morgan Stanley revived concerns about the banking sector and the wider economy after it posted its second straight quarterly loss and slashed its dividend.

The Nasdaq eked out a gain after AT&T Inc reported its quarterly profit fell less than expected, and an analyst said its iPhone partnership with Apple is starting to help rather than hurt profits, lifting tech shares.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)