Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 share indexes are up 0.3-0.4 percent, pointing to a higher start on Wall Street.

* Several major markets in Europe and Asia, excluding the UK and Japan, are closed for May 1 holidays. UK and Japanese markets are closed on Monday.

* The first-day hearing for the bankruptcy of Chrysler is set for the morning in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

* Data to be released during the day will probably show that U.S. auto sales plunged to their lowest levels in nearly 30 years in April, with automakers expected to post sales declines of at least 30 percent from a year earlier.

* The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales, an important measure of consumer demand, is expected to come in at 9.8 million cars and light trucks in April, according to a Reuters poll of 36 economists.

* New orders received by U.S. factories in March are expected to have fallen 0.6 percent from a year earlier after rising 1.8 percent in February, according to the average forecast of 52 economists polled by Reuters.

* Chevron, the second largest U.S. oil company, is expected to report earnings of 83 cents per share, down from $2.48 a year earlier, according to Reuters Estimates.

* Mastercard, the world's second largest credit card network, is expected to report lower quarterly earnings, as consumers tighten spending in a deep recession. Analysts expect first-quarter net income of $2.69 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

* Aon Corp, the world's largest insurance brokerage, is expected to report better first-quarter results than a year ago, as drastic cost reductions in recent years pay off in higher profitability, and offset constrained commissions and fee revenue.

* The U.S. Federal Reserve plans new loans with five-year terms under its Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF, in a bid to boost the commercial real estate market, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Thursday.

* Bank of America Corp's board is not planning to remove Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis after he was ousted as chairman under shareholder pressure, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Thursday.

* Citigroup Inc executives are using the sale of its Japanese retail brokerage Nikko Cordial to ease demands from the U.S. stress tests on banks, arguing the sale of non-core assets such as Nikko would strengthen its balance sheet, the Financial Times reported, citing people close to the matter.

* Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers release final April consumer sentiment index at 1355 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 61.9, compared with 57.3 in the final March report.

* At 1400 GMT, the Institute for Supply Management releases its April manufacturing index. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 38.0 versus 36.3 in March.

* Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) releases its weekly index of economic activity for April 24 at 1430 GMT. In the prior week the index read 107.2.

* Shares of Hartford Financial dropped more than 12 percent to $10.3 after the bell on Thursday after the insurance company posted first-quarter results.

* Parts supplier American Axle, which said this week it would close its biggest Detroit plant, is expected to post a first quarter loss of about 53 cents per share compared with a loss of 48 cents per share a year earlier.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by John Stonestreet)