Futures added to modest gains as Microsoft posted an impressive earnings beat, joining the parade of firms that have shown positive surprises.
A day after the rollout of its new Windows 7 operating system, Microsoft said it earned 40 cents per share in the previous quarter, well ahead of analyst expectations of 32 cents. Shares jumped 7.7 percent in premarket trading.
A handful of companies reporting after the bell Thursday blew away analyst estimates. Amazon.com led the parade and its shares are up 17 percent in premarket trading.
American Express also exceeded expectations as did competitor Capital One Financial , whose shares rose nearly 8 percent premarket.
Diversfied manufacturer Honeywell reported before the bell, beating estimates even though profit fell 15 percent to 80 cents per share. Shares gained 2.2 percent premarket.
Whirlpool, Schlumberger and Ingersoll-Rand also reported better-than-expected earnings.
Other earnings reports of note this morning will include: Exelon; Fortune Brands and T.Rowe Price.