Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 both up 0.6 percent, while Dow Jones futures were 0.4 percent higher.
European shares <.FTEU3> advanced on Thursday, with investors looking to the European Central Bank to support risk appetite by detailing plans for a new bond-buying program to help bring down borrowing costs.
Ahead of Friday's key U.S. August non-farm payrolls data, August challenger layoffs data will be released at 7:30 a.m.EDT, the August ADP national employment report is out at 1215 GMT, with the latest weekly jobless claims due at 1230 GMT.
General Growth Properties Inc's
U.S. stocks closed out a second straight session of thin trading on Wednesday, with investors reluctant to make big bets ahead of the crucial ECB meeting.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 11.54 points, or 0.09 percent, to 13,047.48, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 1.50 points, or 0.11 percent, to 1,403.44, and the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 5.79 points, or 0.19 percent, to 3,069.27.
(Reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Susan Fenton)