Stock index futures rose on Thursday after Germany approved new powers for the euro zone's crisis fund and before the government releases data on U.S. economic growth and the labor market.

Germany's parliament voted new powers for the crisis fund but it was not clear if Angela Merkel got enough votes from her coalition to silence rebels worried about funding a series of bailouts of countries like Greece.

We get overreaction both on the upside and downside, it seems, on any kind of new information from the euro zone, and justifiably so, said Kim Caughey Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

It really it is like herding cats where everybody has their own idea of what is going on, and they are kind of going in the same direction, but not really.

Also supporting futures, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday the central bank might need to ease monetary policy further if inflation or inflation expectations fall significantly.

The Fed doesn't really talk about this, but their biggest issue is deflation, and they continue to monitor that, so if he sees any sort of deflationary spiral beginning, maybe the helicopters are going to come out and start flooding us with money, said Caughey Forrest.

The Commerce Department will release its final estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Economists in a Thomson Reuters survey forecast a 1.2 percent annualized pace of growth compared with a 1.0 percent rate in the preliminary (second) estimate.

Also at 8:30 a.m. EDT, the Labor Department releases first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended September 24. Economists forecast a total of 420,000 new filings compared with 423,000 in the prior week.

Market volatility is likely to remain high as traders react to European headlines and attempt to gauge the commitment of governments and institutions as they work to prevent a Greek default.

S&P 500 futures rose 4.8 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 44 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 10.25 points.

At 10 a.m. EDT, the National Association of Realtors issues pending home sales for August. Economists expect a 1.8 percent drop, compared with a 1.3 percent drop in the previous month.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc slumped 10.6 percent to $5.50 in premarket after the chipmaker cut its third-quarter revenue and gross margin forecast citing manufacturing issues at its German foundry supplier.

European stocks briefly extended gains while Bunds futures fall after Germany's vote.

Japanese shares rose but shares elsewhere in Asia fell, although losses in the regional benchmark were limited by a 3.7 percent gain for heavyweight Samsung Electronics <005930.KS> on optimism about its third quarter earnings. an 4 percent, as a rebound in riskier assets ran out of steam.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Kenneth Barry)