Forexpros - U.S. stock futures pointed to a modestly higher open on Thursday, as Greece's parliament prepared to vote on legislation to implement the EUR28.4 billion, five-year austerity package approved in Wednesday's vote.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a gain of 0.25%, the S&P 500 futures advanced 0.27%, while Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.35% increase.
Stock futures held on to gains after official data showed that first time jobless claims declined by 1K to 428K last week. Analysts expected a decline to 420K.
Greek lawmakers were due to vote later in the day on the implementation of different parts of the harsh austerity package needed to secure a EUR12 billion tranche of bailout funds from the European Union and International Monetary Fund in order to avoid a sovereign debt default.
Meanwhile, U.S.-listed shares of Lloyd's Banking Group rallied 7.8% in pre-market trade after announcing that it would cut 15,000 jobs and withdraw operations from more than 15 of its overseas units in order to save USD2.4 billion.
Shares in online auction website eBay jumped 3.7% after both Citigroup and Bank of America upgraded the stock to 'buy'. Citigroup raised its target price on the stock by 21% to USD38.
On the downside, shares in Callaway Golf tumbled 6.1% after the company projected a loss of USD55 million in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, shares in health-care provider Eli Lilly were in focus after its chief executive said the company planned to boost spending on research-and-development, even though earnings were expected to decline over the next three years.
Other stocks in focus included, private education provider Apollo Group as well as restaurant operator Darden Restaurants, which were both scheduled to release earnings reports later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets edged higher amid optimism over Greece. The EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.3%, France's CAC 40 added 0.25%, Germany's DAX eased up 0.1%, while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.55%.
During the Asian trading session, regional indices were broadly higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 index edged 0.2% higher, Honk Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 1.5%, while Australia's ASX/200 Index closed 1.7% higher.
Later in the day, the U.S. was release data on manufacturing activity in the Chicago region, while the Federal Reserve was to end its USD600 billion bond-buying program, known as QE2.
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