Stock index futures pointed to a flat to higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 rising 0.2 percent, the Dow Jones trading flat and the Nasdaq 100 gaining 0.3 percent.
Results from a handful of companies helped pull European shares <.FTEU3> back into positive territory after a poor opening, offering some support for other markets.
The U.S. economic recovery continues to be hampered by spillover effects of the European crisis and a downtrodden housing market, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen said on Thursday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association releases at 7 a.m. EDT its Weekly Mortgage Market Index for the week ended October 5. The index read 1,020.4 and the refinancing index was 5,888.0 in the previous week.
China's Lenovo Group <0992.HK> edged out Silicon Valley icon Hewlett-Packard Co
The Federal Reserve releases Beige Book of regional economic conditions at 2 p.m. EDT.
Alaska Air Group Inc
Standard & Poor's on Wednesday cut Spain's sovereign credit rating to BBB-minus, just above junk territory, citing a deepening economic recession that is limiting the government's policy options to arrest the slide.
Finance ministers and central bankers from around the globe are in Tokyo for the semi-annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, which end on Sunday, October 14.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Thursday said struggling European countries such as Greece and Spain should be given more time to reduce their budget gaps.
The S&P 500 fell for a fourth day on Wednesday, weighed down by disappointing news from Chevron and Alcoa as earnings season got under way.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 128.56 points, or 0.95 percent, to end at 13,344.97. The S&P 500 <.SPX> dropped 8.92 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,432.56. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> lost 13.24 points, or 0.43 percent, to end at 3,051.78.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by Patrick Graham)