U.S. Stock Futures Point to Higher Open

Gazala Parveen

U.S. stock index futures were on the upside early Thursday, hinting a positive open for Wall Street equities, a day after the Federal Reserve announced further cuts to its stimulus program.

Futures on the S&P 500 index were up 4.25 points at 1775.50 points while those on the Nasdaq index gained 10.80 points to 3483.80 points.

Wall Street equities posted losses in the previous session after the U.S. central bank decided to scale back its monthly asset purchase program by $10 billion, reducing it to $65 billion a month -- in line with expectations.

Earlier in the day Asian and European stocks reacted adversely to the Fed's taper move even as weak manufacturing data out of China further dented sentiment.

Back in the U.S., some economic reports are likely to be in focus. Initial jobless claims data will be out at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time while Pending Home Sales report is due at 10:00 a.m.

At the same time, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will release its preliminary reading of fourth quarter gross domestic product.

Other than this, U.S. Department of Commerce' preliminary reading on real consumer spending is scheduled for release at the same time, while the Bloomberg consumer confidence will hit the wires at 9:45 a.m.

The Treasury department will hold auctions of 5-year and 7-year notes at 1:00 p.m.

On the corporate front, a host of companies are due to report earnings today including 3M (MMM) , Amazon (AMZN) , Chiptole (CMG) , Exxon Mobil (XOM) , Google (GOOG) , UPS (UPS) , Viacom (VIA) and Visa (V).

In pre-market activity, Facebook Inc. (FB) bounced over 12% after the social network's quarterly results topped Street estimates.

Similarly Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) moved 3.2% higher after reporting upbeat results.