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Futures point to a higher open on Wall Street, as OPEC, tax news takes center stage

  • OPEC ministers are meeting in Vienna Thursday
  • Two members of the U.S. Federal Reserve are set to deliver remarks
Jin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a positive open Thursday, lifted by a strong performance from Wall Street in the previous session, as investors geared up for an all-important OPEC meeting.

Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 89 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 8 points and 22.25 points, respectively.

In the previous session, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high as market-watchers bet the U.S. economy's momentum would continue, following positive GDP data. Another area that has boosted markets is recent news that the Senate took a step towards passing a bill aimed at reforming the U.S. tax code on Tuesday.

With the Senate Budget Committee having approved the Senate's tax plan, this brings the upper chamber closer to a floor vote, slated to occur Thursday. Investors have been eagerly awaiting tax reform since last year's election, yet doubts over whether the Republican-led Congress could achieve this before the year is out continues to weigh on sentiment.

Aside from tax, investors will be paying close attention to data. Jobless claims came in at 238,000, below, expectations, while personal income rose more than expected in October. Chicago PMI data are also due at 9:45 a.m. ET.

Elsewhere, OPEC ministers are meeting in Vienna, where the oil cartel is set to discuss whether it will extend production cuts to cover the whole of 2018. Consequently, oil prices will be of key importance to investors during the day's trade, with prices currently trading higher in early trade.

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In central bank news, Federal Reserve Governor Randal Quarles will be at the 2017 Financial stability and Fintech conference in Washington. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester will also be there. Meanwhile, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan will be at The Real Estate Council Speaker Series in Dallas, Texas.

Looking to markets in other regions, trade in Europe posted slight gains, while markets in Asia finished the session mostly lower.

—CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report