Futures turned positive Thursday, as Berkshire Hathaway said it will invest $5 billion in Bank of America.
Futures had been under pressure all morning after weekly jobless claims gained more than expected and following news that Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced his resignment.
Bank of America soared 20 percent after Berkshire Hathaway said it will invest $5 billion in the bank.
Apple tumbled sharply following news that Steve Jobs resigned as CEO Wednesday, saying he could no longer fulfill his duties and passed the reigns to Tim Cook. Tech firms were a likely focus for investors following the announcement.
On the economic front, new claims for unemployment benefits climbed more than expected last week, lifted by striking Verizon workers, according to the Labor Department. Jobless claims gained 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 417,000 with Verizon workers on strike filing 8,500 claims last week. The strike agaginst Verizon has since been resolved.
Economists had expected claims rising to 405,000 last week, according to a Reuters poll.
Meanwhile, Citigroup cut its global growth forecasts for this year and 2012. The firm slashed its global GDP growth forecast for 2011 to 3.1 percent from 3.4 percent, and for 2012, to 3.2 percent from 3.7 percent.
In other corporate news, AT&T said the FCC had requested more information about its acquisition of T-Mobile in relation to its commitment to expand high-speed wireless services to 97 percent of all Americans.
On the earnings front, Big Lots was flat after the retailer posted earnings that beat expectations and raised its full-year profit forecast.
Hormel also reported better-than-expected results and the maker of Spam also boosted its profit outlook for the year.
Meanwhile, UBS cut its 2011 and 2012 growth forecasts for Chinaamid the global slowdown.
Coming Up This Week:
THURSDAY: 7-yr note auction, Medtronic shareholders mtg, USDA food prices outlook
FRIDAY: GDP, corproate profits, consumer sentiment, Bernanke speaks, short-sale bans expire; Earnings from Tiffany