The U.S. stock index futures point to a higher open Thursday ahead of the Labor Department's weekly jobless claims data and the Census Bureau's durable goods orders data.

The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.28 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.40 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.36 percent. 

Investors are likely to focus on the weekly U.S. jobless claims data to be reported Thursday. The initial jobless claims report, which measures the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time last week, is expected to rise to 370,000 in the week ending Oct. 20, down from 388,000 in the previous week.

Investors are also expected to focus on the durable goods orders data to be reported Thursday. Durable goods orders, which measure the change in the total value of new orders for the long-lasting manufactured goods, are expected to increase 7.1 percent in September, up from a decrease of 13.2 percent in August. The core durable goods orders for September, which will exclude the transportation items, are expected to increase 0.8 percent, up from 1.6 percent decrease in August.

On Wednesday, the U.S. markets fell as investors remained concerned about the weakening global economy and faltering economic growth momentum. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau’s new home sales data reported Wednesday showed upswing in house purchases.  The data, which measure the annualized number of new single-family homes that were sold during the previous month, rose to 389,000 in September, up from 373,000 in August.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.19 percent, the S&P 500 Index was down 0.31 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.29 percent.

European markets rose Wednesday as investors remained hopeful that Greece would soon receive the bailout package required to overcome its economic and financial instability. London's FTSE 100 was up 6.39 points, Germany's DAX 30 index rose 8.90 points and France's CAC 40 gained 7.58 points.

Asian stocks rose following global cues. India’s SENSEX was up 41.96 points, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 100.90 points and South Korea’s KOSPI Composite Index gained 10.54 points.