Shares are set for a mostly higher open on Thursday, ahead of the results of the stress tests for banks.

* At 0901 GMT, futures for the Dow Jones and S&P 500 were up 0.3 percent; those for the Nasdaq were down 0.1 percent.

* The results of government stress tests of the ability of the 19 largest U.S. banks to weather a deep recession will be released at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) and are expected to show about half the banks need more capital.

* While the reported capital shortfalls so far are much larger than analysts had expected, bank shares soared on Wednesday as investors got more clarity over how well the industry will cope with perhaps the most severe recession since World War Two.

* Among banks needing capital, Bank of America Corp shares closed up 17.1 percent, Citigroup Inc rose 16.6 percent and Wells Fargo & Co rose 15.6 percent.

* U.S. stocks were further boosted by a private sector reading on the labor market signaling that unemployment may be receding.

* The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.2 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> climbed 1.7 percent; the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 0.3 percent.

* After the bell, Cisco Systems Inc posted stronger-than-expected quarterly results and chief executive John Chambers said his customers were seeing more stability, adding to hopes that business conditions would soon recover, sending the shares up 4 percent in after-hours trading.

* Shares of Prudential Financial

rose 3.1 percent to $36.69 in after-hours trade after the company reported its first-quarter results.

* Shares of News Corp rose 4.3 percent to $10.45 in after-hours trade after the company reported its third-quarter results.

* Weekly jobless numbers are due before the market opens, with analysts expecting a slight increase, 4,000, in initial claims to 635,000.

* American International Group is expected to post a first-quarter net loss of about $5 billion, smaller than its year-ago loss. The insurer's $61.7 billion fourth-quarter loss was the biggest quarterly loss in U.S. corporate history.

* Other companies due to report include General Motors , though the main focus will be on the automaker's discussions with the Obama administration and others in the run-up to its June 1 restructuring deadline.

* The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares was up 1.6 percent at 871.96 points, gaining for the seventh straight day, with an across-the-board rise on hopes of an economic recovery.

* Anheuser-Busch InBev said it agreed to sell its South Korean Oriental Brewery to New York-based private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co for $1.8 billion, allowing the world's largest brewer to repay debt.

(Reporting by Brian Gorman)