Stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, halting a three-session retreat, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.04 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.1 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.1 percent at 0910 GMT.
News Corp will be in focus after it missed Wall Street profit expectations on weaker movie box office output and struggling newspapers despite a strong performance by its cable and television business.
Electronic Arts will also be in the spotlight after the video game publisher said its quarterly outlook and revenue rose, driven by sales of games Crysis 2 and Dead Space 2, sending its shares about 1.4 percent higher in after hours.
Whole Foods Market reported a quarterly profit that topped Wall Street's view and raised its full-year profit forecast, sending its shares up 5.4 percent in extended trade.
U.S. warehouse club operator Costco posted a higher-than-expected 12 percent rise in April sales at stores open at least a year, helped by higher gasoline prices and strengthening foreign currencies.
Lafarge and HeidelbergCement , two of the world's biggest cement makers, expect emerging markets to boost sales in 2011 as they continue to battle higher energy costs.
Investors awaited a raft of company results on Thursday from companies such as Kraft Foods , AIG and Visa . On the economic front, investors awaited the weekly claims for jobless benefits for the week ended April 30. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 410,000 new filings compared with 429,000 in the prior week.
European stocks were down 0.4 percent in morning trade, losing ground for the third consecutive session, led lower by banking shares after Societe Generale reported disappointing quarterly results.
Weak economic figures heightened stock investors' anxiety over the extended rally, knocking U.S. shares lower for a third day on Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> lost 83.93 points, or 0.66 percent, to 12,723.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 9.30 points, or 0.69 percent, to 1,347.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 13.39 points, or 0.47 percent, to 2,828.23.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)