Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday after earnings from companies like Apple Inc and Hershey Co suggested some businesses weathered the recession in the first quarter.
Investors also awaited data on existing home sales for March and initial jobless claims. The report on the labor market is expected to show initial claims at 635,000, according to Reuters data.
There's only been small patches of positive guidance, mostly on the part of companies who are strong enough to have weathered this current weak demand, said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in New York.
The Apple news yesterday and some of the other earnings reports in tech were taken as a reasonably positive sign.
S&P 500 futures rose 7 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 53 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 17.50 points.
Among the standouts in the early morning round of results, shares of Hershey
PNC Financial Services Group
In the auto sector, the U.S. Treasury raised its offer to Chrysler lenders, sources said Wednesday, as the embattled automaker races to cut its debt and labor costs and reach an alliance with Italy's Fiat SpA
Also, auto dealer representatives will meet with the U.S. government task force faced with retooling the auto industry to make the case that a bankruptcy for General Motors Corp
The Dow and S&P fell Wednesday after Morgan Stanley
The Nasdaq eked out a gain after AT&T Inc
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr)