Stocks headed for a higher open on Thursday as resurgent oil prices lifted energy shares and sentiment was underpinned by optimism about the Federal Reserve's push to lower borrowing costs.
Shares of Exxon Mobil
Bank shares also headed higher, with Bank of America
Citigroup said it was proposing an exchange offer of preferred shares that could give the U.S. government a 36 percent stake in the bank. As part of the plan Citigroup would conduct a reverse stock split, reducing its share count and boosting its share price.
Citi shares rose 6 percent at $3.26 in pre-market trade.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve surprised Wall Street by announcing it would buy long-term Treasury bonds for the first time in four decades in a bid to revive the recession-hit economy. Optimism about the move, which fueled a recovery in stocks on Wednesday, continued to bolster sentiment.
The bears are likely to stay on the run, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners. The fact that the Fed made these firm commitments will help blossom some of the seeds that are beginning to sprout toward a recovery.
S&P 500 futures were up 6.9 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 added 51 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 8.0 points.
An announcement by HSBC Holdings
Top drags will include FedEX Corp
On the economic front, a March reading on factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region is due at 10:00 a.m. EDT.
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)