Stock index futures pointed to a firmer open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 flat to 0.2 percent higher at 0916 GMT.
After last Friday's dire nonfarm payroll data, investors will closely watch a televised President Barack Obama speech at 7 p.m. EDT, which will outline a jobs package worth more than $300 billon to boost a spluttering recovery.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will also be giving a speech, at 1:30 p.m. EDT, but he is unlikely to announce any outline bold new measures to boost the flagging recovery.
Investors will eye weekly U.S. jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET for any signs the recovery is improving, with economists in a Reuters survey forecasting a total of 405,000 new filings compared with 409,000 in the prior week.
A U.S. appeals court has ruled a lawsuit accusing lenders such as Bank of America Corp
A lawsuit against Apple
The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Department of Labor is investigating pay practices at homebuilders PulteGroup Inc
Bloomberg reported, citing three people familiar with the matter that FedEx Corp
The scope and terms of a profit-sharing deal is now under consideration in contract talks between General Motors Co
The FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> was 0.9 percent higher at 0918 GMT on Thursday on hopes the European Central Bank will halt its interest rate rise cycle as economic growth slows.
Wall Street gained on Wednesday, snapping three days of losses, with financial stocks rebounding sharply.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 2.5 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 2.9 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 3 percent.
(Reporting by Joanne Frearson; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)