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.