Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday for the first session of the quarter, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.54 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.49 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.52 percent at 3.41 a.m. ET.

Research in Motion will be in the spotlight after the maker of the Blackberry smartphone posted results that lagged expectations, sending its stock tumbling in after hours. Shares of RIM traded in Frankfurt were down 7 percent.

Micron Technology Inc delivered only its second quarterly profit in nearly three years as a recovering economy helped lift prices for its DRAM memory products well beyond Wall Street expectations. Shares in Micron traded in Frankfurt were up 1.7 percent.

On the macro front, China's vast manufacturing sector moved up a gear in March as orders climbed, two business surveys showed on Thursday, pointing to brisk first-quarter GDP growth that could spur further policy tightening by Beijing.

Borders Group Inc repaid a loan to its largest investor and secured access to more credit as it reported a sharply higher quarterly profit, giving much needed breathing room to the ailing bookseller.

Fertilizer maker Mosaic Co said on Wednesday that its fiscal third-quarter profit more than tripled, but it missed estimates due in part to higher-than-expected taxes and currency losses.

Oil slipped on Thursday from the highest closing price in almost 18 months as investors liquidated positions ahead of the Easter holiday.

Ahead of Friday's payrolls, investors' focus will be on the latest weekly U.S. initial jobless claims numbers, as well as monthly ISM manufacturing data and construction spending.

U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday as a report showing a surprising drop in private-sector employment stoked concerns about the health of the labor market two days before the government's key jobs data.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 50.79 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 10,856.63. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 3.84 points, or 0.33 percent, to 1,169.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 12.73 points, or 0.53 percent, to end at 2,397.96.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Sharon Lindores)