Stock index futures rose on Thursday on upbeat results from Cisco Systems and ahead of an expected pickup in October same-store sales as well as jobless claims data.

Technology bellwether Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) said Wednesday quarterly revenue rose more than expected, and its board authorized up to $10 billion in stock buybacks. Cisco shares rose 3.3 percent to $24.07 in premarket trading.

U.S. retail chains reported October sales slightly ahead of expectations as consumers' austerity eased before the holiday season.

The sales data kicked off with Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O) reporting a better-than-expected 5 percent increase in October sales. 

We are responding to the positive news from Cisco last night. That is the main factor in driving premium in futures this morning, said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.

S&P 500 futures SPc1 rose 1.2 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures DJc1 gained 10 points and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc1 added 3 points.

Initial weekly jobless claims, due at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT), are set to fall to 523,000 from 530,000 in the previous week, according to a Reuters poll.

Shares of Research in Motion Ltd (RIMM.O) rose 1.8 percent to $58.65 in premarket trading after the BlackBerry maker's board approved a $1.2 billion stock buyback program. 

CVS Caremark Corp (CVS.N) posted a bigger-than-expected jump in quarterly profit and said this year's income should be at the higher end of its prior view. Shares rose 1.5 percent premarket.

As investors look for signs of a rebound in consumer spending, same-store sales for October are expected to have risen 1.2 percent overall, according to Thomson Reuters data. Consumer spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of the U.S. economy.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI gained 0.3 percent, after rising as much as 1.6 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX edged up 0.1 percent.