Futures on major U.S. indices point to a higher opening on Thursday with futures on the S&P 500 gaining 11.80 points to 1,189.30, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 87.00 points to 11,082.00 and Nasdaq100 futures up 25.50 points to 2,122.50.

Investors will be eyeing on GM, which will be back on NYSE after recovering from a government funded bailout. The automobile giant is expected to raise $20.1 billion from its IPO. If underwriters exercise their over-allotment options, the company would raise $23.1 billion, making it the world's largest IPO. The issue included 478 million shares of common stock priced at $33.00 per share.

The sentiment is also likely to be boosted on hopes of a solution to Ireland's debt woes after the debt-laden nation is in talks with officials of the European Union and the IMF.

On Wednesday, stocks finished mixed in choppy trading, after four days of losses, as investors become worried that Ireland will likely receive a huge bailout to clean up its banking system and repay its debt.

U.S. weekly initial jobless claims are due to be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT, Thursday. Economists expect the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for benefits to have increased to 442,000 from 435,000.

On the earnings front, companies including Dell Inc., Gap Inc., Gamestop Corp. Sears Holdings Corp., Staples Inc. are due to report their quarterly results.

On the currency front, the euro strenghtened 0.66 percent to 1.3619 against the dollar after hitting a seven-week low of $1.3446 on Tuesday, while the greenback edged up 0.05 percent to 83.229 against the yen.

Crude oil futures rose 1.74 percent to $84.73/barrel and gold futures gained 1.44 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading higher with U.K. FTSE 100 up by 69.06 points, German DAX30 up by 90.51 points and French CAC 40 higher by 54.35 points.