Wall Street was set to edge higher at Thursday's open in a bounce from steep falls in the previous session, as U.S. politicians struggle to come to an agreement over the debt ceiling days before the deadline to avoid default.

At 0916 GMT, futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 were up between 0.2 and 0.4 percent.

The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of leading European shares was down 0.6 percent at 1,082.09 points, with German chemicals heavyweight BASF down 4.6 percent after profit missed forecasts.

A bill to cut the U.S. deficit faced a nail-bitingly close vote in Congress on Thursday as the top Republican lawmaker sought to quell an internal revolt and push his plan to avoid a ruinous default.

Approval of a plan by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner would break the inertia in Washington over a U.S. debt crisis that has spooked markets and raised the prospect that the government of the world's largest economy will run out of money to pay its bills in less than a week.

Pending home sales probably fell about 2 percent in June, after two months of more than usual volatility, which included an 11.3 percent drop in April followed by an 8.2 percent rebound in May.

The week ending July 23 will mark for the 16th consecutive week that initial jobless claims hover above 400,000.

Exxon Mobil , the world's largest publicly traded oil company, is among a raft of companies reporting. High crude oil prices will have boosted second-quarter profits, but investors have been pressing the company to deliver more cash to shareholders through a higher dividend.

Others due to report include Starbucks and Time Warner Cable .

Swiss bank Credit Suisse is cutting about 2,000 jobs after a second quarter hit by weak trading activity and the strong Swiss franc. The shares fell 2.2 percent.

HSBC may cut more than 10,000 jobs as it embarks on a cost-cutting drive, Sky News reported, citing people close to Europe's biggest bank.

Ford Motor Co plans to build a $900 million production plant in India, doubling its investment in the country, as the No. 2 U.S. carmaker seeks to catch up with rivals in the second-fastest growing auto market in the world.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc reported a big jump in second-quarter net profits helped by new projects which the company said would drive production growth in coming years.

Wall Street suffered its worst day in eight weeks on Wednesday, hit by weak earnings, lackluster economic data and no movement in Washington talks as the deadline for a U.S. default looms.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 1.6 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 2 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 2.7 percent.

(Reporting by Brian Gorman)