Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, bouncing back from the previous session's sell-off, as investors digested news that car parts maker Visteon filed for bankruptcy protection, and ahead of key U.S. durable good orders and new home sales data.

At 5:11 a.m. EDT, futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.4 percent, Dow Jones futures were up 0.3 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.4 percent.

U.S. auto parts maker Visteon Corp said on Thursday it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its U.S. operations. In a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Visteon listed total assets of $4.58 billion and total debts of $5.32 billion.

General Motors Corp moved closer to filing the largest bankruptcy ever for a U.S. industrial company after a crucial bond exchange proposal failed, while the fate of GM's European brand Opel remained uncertain after marathon talks with German officials ended without a deal.

GM shares in Frankfurt were down 5.7 percent.

President Barack Obama said the U.S. economy was past the worst. It's safe to say we have stepped back from the brink, Obama told a fundraiser in Beverly Hills. There is some calm that didn't exist before.

Also, General Electric Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt said he feels more confident about business conditions given signs the global economy has passed through the toughest stage.

European shares were down 1.3 percent in a broad retreat in early trade on Thursday, tracking a decline on Wall Street, with banks such as HSBC , Deutsche Bank and Barclays among the big losers.

Citigroup Inc is in early negotiations with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle a probe into whether it misled investors by not properly disclosing the amount of troubled mortgage assets it held as the markets started to fall in 2007, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

On the macro front, investors were bracing for monthly durable goods orders data, due at 8:30 a.m. EDT, weekly jobless claims, due at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and new home sales data, due at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

U.S. stocks dropped on Wednesday as rising yields on U.S. government debt fueled concern that businesses and consumers could face higher borrowing costs, which could hamper an economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 173.47 points, or 2.05 percent, to end at 8,300.02. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 17.27 points, or 1.90 percent, at 893.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 19.35 points, or 1.11 percent, at 1,731.08.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by David Cowell)