Futures on major U.S. indices point to higher opening on Thursday ahead of key weekly U.S. jobs data and pending home sales report.

Futures on the S&P 500 are up 0.27 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.22 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are up 0.35 percent.

US stock markets started December with a strong rally on Wednesday on a slew of good economic data, including jobs, productivity and regional growth.

Payroll firm ADP Employer Services said on Wednesday that small businesses added 93,000 workers in November, well above analysts’ forecasts, suggesting a strong non-farm payroll report this Friday.

Investors are likely to focus on initial jobless claims and pending home sales data, which will give more clues about the strength of the economic recovery.

Ahead of the Friday's August nonfarm payrolls report, the Department of Labor is due to report the initial jobless claims data at 8:30 am EDT. The economists forecast initial jobless claims to be 423,000 for the week ended November 27 against 407,000 of the previous week. Any data that is weaker than expected will weigh on market sentiments.

The National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index, a forward-looking indicator that looks at contracts signed for existing homes, is due to be released after the markets open and is expected to show that sales witness a drop in October following drop in the existing home sales and new home sales reported last week.

On the M&A front, PepsiCo agreed to acquire 66 percent of Russia's dairy and fruit juice company Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods for $3.8 billion, making it the largest food-and-beverage business in Russia.

The euro advanced 0.27 percent to 1.3174 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.08 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures declined 0.06 percent to $86.70/barrel and gold futures advanced 0.16 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading higher with FTSE 100 up by 28.84 points, DAX30 up by 2.39 points and CAC 40 up by 19.07 points.