Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday ahead of key U.S. durable good orders and new home sales data, while the market eyed General Motors as it slid closer to bankruptcy.
U.S. stocks dropped sharply on Wednesday as rising yields on U.S. government debt fueled concern that businesses and consumers would face higher borrowing costs, hampering an economic recovery.
Investors were bracing for monthly durable goods orders data and weekly jobless claims, due at 8:30 a.m., and new home sales data, set for 10 a.m.
Before the market opens we get the jobless claims and durable goods, which are going to be important, said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.
The concept that things weren't getting any worse took the market up to the level it is at now. Now we have to see some improvement -- that there is going to be an improvement in the third-quarter and fourth-quarter -- and we're not going into another stall here.
General Motors Corp
The impact of GM's bankruptcy, is going to be critical, added Mendelsohn. This is a big unknown that really could have a major impact on the economy that I'm not sure the economy is really discounting properly at this point in time.
S&P 500 futures rose 1.20 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 added 3 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 2.25 points.
Dow component Procter & Gamble Co
Auto parts maker Visteon
U.S. front month crude prices held above $63 after OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna decided to leave the group's oil output untouched at 24.85 million barrels a day.
Costco Wholesale Corp
Also on the earnings front, ketchup maker H.J. Heinz
The Wall Street Journal said Citigroup Inc
On Wednesday, 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.
Since reaching a low in early March, the Dow has gained nearly 27 percent and the S&P 500 has risen more than 32 percent.