Futures extended their gains in volatile pre-market trading Thursday after the ECB unexpectedly cut its interest rate and following talks the Greek government might collapse, thus avoiding a referendum on its euro zone membership and easing concerns about an imminent default.
European shares rebounded from early losses, led by the banking sector.
The ECB reduced its interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 percent on as the euro zone's worsening debt crisis outweighed the concern over persistently high inflation. New ECB President Mario Draghi will explain the decision in detail at a news conference this morning.
Tensions between Greece and euro zone partners as well as the IMF boiled over on Wednesday when Papandreou called a controversial referendum on the latest bailout deal for Greece.
Opposition politicians are now calling for him to step down and for a new coalition government to be formed, before early elections.
On the economic front, weekly jobless claims fell below 400,000 for the first time in over a month, suggesting a slight improvement in the labor market. Claims for unemployment benefits dropped by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 397,000, according to the Labor Department. Economists had expected claims edging down to 400,000, according to a Reuters poll.
The Institute for Supply Management releases its October non-manufacturing index at 10 am ET. Economists forecast a reading of 53.5 versus 53.0 in September. And the Commerce Department releases September factory orders. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 0.1 percent fall compared with a 0.2 percent drop in August.
Meanwhile, online retailer Amazon.com said Kindle owners with an Amazon Prime membership will now get access to the company's new digital book library service.
Qualcomm soared after the cell phone chipmaker topped estimates and said it expects to see double-digit sales growth this fiscal year.
Eastman Kodak fell after the troubled photography firm posted a much bigger-than-expected loss and said it had less cash than the previous quarter as the company faced higher material costs and did not announce a major licensing deal.
Starbucks , AIG and CBS are slated to post earnings after-the-bell tonight.
Groupon is poised to price its initial public offering at $1 to $2 above its current range, responding to stronger than anticipated demand for the biggest U.S. IPO in months, three buyside sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
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On Tap This Week:
THURSDAY: Factory orders, ISM non-mfg index, G20 Summit, chain-store sales, Groupon IPO prices; Earnings from AIG, CBS, Starbucks
FRIDAY: Non-farm payroll report