U.S. futures pointed to a higher open on the Wall Street, buoyed by upbeat earnings reports, mainly from major banks, and talks on Greece's bailout. Upbeat data on the American jobless claims also boosted sentiment.
Mini Dow industrial average futures rose 51 points to 12,555.00. The Nasdaq Futures gained 13.75 points to 2,434.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures were 6.40 points higher at 1,308.60.
On the economic front, the number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits fell less than forecast, a government data showed. Jobless claims decreased 50,000 to 352,000 last week from a revised 402,000 in the previous period, while economists projected an decline to 385,000. The four-week moving average for claims - a less volatile measure than the weekly figures - dropped 3,500 to 379,000 last week, a data from the Labor Department showed.
On Wednesday, the U.S. stock market closed higher on broad based gains witnessed across all major sectors. The IMF's decision to help Euro Zone reduce its debt crisis and Goldman Sachs' earnings forecast that came in above expectations boosted sentiments and allayed fears about the profitability of banking stocks.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: (MS, BAC, UNP, EBAY, JCI, FCS)
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) delivered better than expected fourth quarter results. After Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and US Bankcorp. (NYSE: USB) reporting better than expected results on January 18, Morgan Stanley followed it thereby boosting sentiments on banking stocks. In premarket trading on Thursday, MS advanced 5.7 percent to $18.35.
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) swung to a quarterly profit, helped by rise in revenue and lower provision for credit losses. Earnings were $1.99 billion or $0.15 per share for the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $1.24 billion or $0.16 per share in the corresponding period of last year.
Total revenue rose 11 percent to $25.15 billion. The stock rose 5.8 percent in premarket.
Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP) gained percent 3.6 percent in premarket after the company posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings, saying four of its six units reported strong volume increases. Earnings were $1.99 per share for the fourth quarter, up from $1.56 per share in the corresponding period of last year.