Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.35 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.4 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.35 percent at 4:50 EDT.

Investors braced for the preliminary estimate of Q1 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, due at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a 2.1 percent annualized pace of growth compared with a 1.8 percent rate in the advance Q1 estimate.

Also on the macro front, weekly jobless figures and PCE data.

Microsoft will be in focus after influential hedge fund manager David Einhorn has called for the company's CEO Steve Ballmer to step down, saying the world's largest software company's leader is stuck in the past.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is investigating whether Goldman Sachs' mortgage servicing arm did not conduct proper reviews before denying borrowers the option to lower their payments under a government loan modification program.

The CME Group , which this month raised the amount of money required to trade silver and oil in response to wild price swings, may bring down margins over time once the market volatility eases, a senior official said on Thursday. The successive margin increases, cited as one of the triggers for the big commodities rout on May 5, contributed to a slide in silver prices since touching a record high of $49.51 an ounce on April 28.

The euro rose to a one-week high against the dollar on Thursday, helped by a report that China is interested in buying bailout bonds for Portugal, though concerns over euro zone debt were expected to be a constraint.

European stocks rose in early morning trade, led by recently-hammered financial shares, but nagging concerns over Greece's debt woes limited gains.

H.J. Heinz Co. and Tiffany & Co featured among the companies expected to report results on Thursday.

U.S. stocks ended a three-day losing streak on Wednesday as recent underperformers led a thinly-traded rally that wasn't seen as strong enough to overcome worries about waning global demand.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 38.45 points, or 0.31 percent, to end at 12,394.66. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> advanced 4.19 points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,320.47. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 15.22 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,761.38.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson. Editing by Jane Merriman)