U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply higher open on Thursday as dozens of companies and three Dow components report earnings and investors wait for more housing market data.
Two Dow stocks — Caterpillar and 3M — reported earnings ahead of the open. McDonald's also reported, beating on both earnings and revenue. 3M results were mixed, while Caterpillar's missed on both lines.
Other companies that reported before the bell include Under Armour, Dow Chemical, and Dunkin' Brands.
More housing market data will also be in focus with September's existing home sales figures at 10:00 a.m. ET. The August FHFA housing price index rose 0.3 percent.
The September Chicago Fed national activity index came in at -0.37, slightly higher than the -0.39 August reading. Weekly jobless claims came in at 259,000, below the expected 265,000.
In Europe, equities traded higher after the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged and as Draghi talked down the euro.
The ECB governing council meeting is being held in Malta rather than Frankfurt this month.
In Asia, China's key Shanghai Composite index swung up in late-day trading to close up 1.5 percent, recouping some of Wednesday's 3.5 percent slump which took the index down to a near one-week low.