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US futures rise with earnings in the spotlight on Wall Street

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday, as investors continued to wade through the busiest day of the earnings season.

Dow futures rose 15 points while S&P and Nasdaq futures advanced 4.5 points and 43 points, respectively.

Comcast and Dow-component Verizon are among the companies that posted quarterly results before the bell. Amazon.com and Starbucks are among the firms set to report after the close.

A man pushes a dolly of Amazon.com Inc. boxes as pedestrians walk along Broad Street near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A man pushes a dolly of Amazon.com Inc. boxes as pedestrians walk along Broad Street near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S.

In economic news, initial jobless claims came in at 244,000, slightly above the expected 240,000. Durable goods orders, meanwhile, rose 6.5 percent in June.

The Kansas City Fed's manufacturing survey is set to follow that, slated to come out at 11 a.m. ET.

Meanwhile, investors are likely to still be digesting the statement made by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

On Wednesday, the U.S. central bank left interest rates unchanged as widely expected, with the Fed saying in the statement that the committee expects to "begin implementing its balance sheet normalization program relatively soon, provided that the economy evolves broadly as anticipated".

The Fed did, however, add that inflation remains below its target of 2 percent.

In the political sphere, investors will be keeping a close eye on Washington DC on Thursday for any news out of the U.S. administration.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter stating that the administration will block transgender people from serving in the U.S. military – a move which was met with a great deal of criticism.

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Looking to commodities, investors were hopeful that a greater-than-expected fall in U.S. crude inventories would reduce the oversupply seen in the oil market.

Despite this positive sentiment, prices came under slight pressure during trade, with U.S. crude hovering around $48.41, while Brent stood around $50.65 per barrel at 8:34 a.m. ET.

In Europe, bourses were trading mixed in morning trade, while Asia-Pacific markets finished trade in the black. In the previous session, U.S. stocks ended trade mostly higher.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.