U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open for equities on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 rising 0.5 to 0.7 percent.
The Labor department releases first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended April 14 at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Economists forecast a total of 370,000 new filings, compared with 380,000 in the prior week.
On the earnings front, focus will be on the first quarter earnings of Bank of America
Other major companies announcing results include Morgan Stanley
The Conference Board releases its report on March leading economic indicators at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Economists forecast a 0.2 percent rise, compared with a 0.7 percent gain in February.
National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases existing home sales for March at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Economists forecast a 4.62 million annualized unit total, versus 4.59 million units in February.
Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank releases April business activity survey at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Economists forecast a reading of 12.0, versus 12.5 in March.
China's economy has weathered the worst after reporting its slowest quarterly growth since the tail-end of the financial crisis in the first three months of 2012, and is heading for a rebound in coming months, a Reuters poll showed.
U.S. oil major ExxonMobil
Marriott International Inc
Europe's top shares <.FTEU3> rose 0.6 percent on Thursday as Spain prepared to test investors appetite for risk at its bond auction.
Spain will pay dearly for longer-term debt on Thursday when it auctions a 10-year bond for only the second time this year to markets spooked by fears it will miss deficit targets and fail to restart growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 82.79 points, or 0.63 percent, to close at 13,032.75 on Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 5.64 points, or 0.41 percent, to 1,385.14. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> slipped 11.37 points, or 0.37 percent, to 3,031.45.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)