Stock index futures pointed to a rebound on Wall Street Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 1.1 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.9 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 1 percent at 4:47 a.m. ET.
European stocks were up slightly in morning trade after reversing sharp losses in morning trade, with Italian shares rallying on fresh hopes the country will have a new government soon while the European Central Bank was reportedly buying the country's bonds to ease the tensions surrounding its debt pile.
German and French officials have discussed plans for a radical overhaul of the European Union that would involve setting up a more integrated and potentially smaller euro zone, EU sources say.
Cisco Systems Inc will be in focus after the group forecast revenue and earnings above Wall Street expectations as demand from government and enterprises for its network equipment remained resilient despite global economic troubles.
Shares of Cisco traded in Frankfurt were up 2.4 percent.
Boeing will also be in focus, after rival Airbus parent EADS's stock surged 5.5 percent following results and an outlook that reassured investors.
Global industrial group Siemens AG said it will pay a smaller-than-expected 11 percent increase in its full-year dividend and gave a cautious outlook after ending its year in a turbulent economic environment.
Deutsche Telekom still expects to close the sale of its T-Mobile USA unit for $39 billion to AT&T on schedule, Telekom Chief Executive Rene Obermann said on Thursday.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley are discussing whether to reduce their use of mark-to-market accounting, in which companies immediately take profits or losses as asset values fluctuate, the Wall Street Journal said.
Alabama's Jefferson County filed for bankruptcy court protection on Wednesday in the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
World oil demand will be lower than expected this year and next as economic slowdown and high prices curb consumption, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.
U.S. stocks tumbled 3 percent on Wednesday in the market's worst day since mid-August as a spike in Italian bond yields signaled the European debt crisis had worsened.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 389.24 points, or 3.20 percent, at 11,780.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 46.82 points, or 3.67 percent, at 1,229.10. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 105.84 points, or 3.88 percent, at 2,621.65.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)