U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday for the last trading session of the year, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.2 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.2 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.1 percent at 3.48 a.m. ET.
The U.S. is injecting another $3.8 billion into GMAC Financial Services to help cover mortgage losses, in a bailout that makes the government the majority owner of the auto and home finance company.
American International Group Inc's
City National Corp
U.S. trucking giant YRC Worldwide
European shares were up 0.2 percent in morning trade, while volumes were very low as a number of markets were already closed for the New Year break, including Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
Oil rose toward $80 on Thursday, extending its rally to a seventh day and poised for the best annual gain in a decade, driven by a drop in U.S. crude and fuel stocks as icy weather stoked demand.
The U.S. dollar held near 16-week highs on a broadly soft Japanese yen on Thursday, but still looked to end a volatile year with a modest loss against a basket of major currencies.
U.S. stocks ended a smidgen higher in very light trading on Wednesday as a stronger-than-expected report on Midwest U.S. business activity was offset by investors taking profits in some of the year's better performers.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 3.10 points, or 0.03 percent, to end at 10,548.51 on Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> edged up just 0.22 of a point, or 0.02 percent, to finish at 1,126.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 2.88 points, or 0.13 percent, to close at 2,291.28.
The S&P 500 is on track to record a gain of 25 percent in 2009.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)