U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Thursday, building on Wednesday's rally which saw major averages gain more than 1.5 percent by the close after a tumultuous week of trade so far.
In Europe, stocks rallied as investors digested the European Central Bank's decision to keep interest rates unchanged. Regional stocks extended gains to rise about 2 percent and U.S. futures briefly more than doubled gains amid morning data releases and comments from ECB President Mario Draghi that kept quantitative easing unchanged while raising the cap on the amount of any one issue it could buy to 33 percent from 25 percent.
The U.S. dollar spiked, with the euro lower near $1.11.
Weekly jobless claims rose to 282,000. The overall U.S. July trade gap narrowed to $41.86 billion, while the U.S.-China trade deficit in July increased slightly to $31.58 billion from $31.46 billion in June, Reuters reported.
The flow of top-tier releases also continues, ahead of Friday's key jobs report. The August ISM non-manufacturing index is due at 10:00 a.m. ET.
The ISM non-manufacturing index is expected to slip back slightly from July's elevated reading of 60.3, which was the highest in almost a decade, to about 58, still very high by both recent and historical standards according to analysts.
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Investors also digested the latest Challenger, Gray & Christmas jobs cut report, which showed that job cuts announced by U.S.-based companies plummeted 61 percent in August after rising to a four-year high the previous month.