Dow Jones industrial futures are up 0.6 per cent to 11,835 and S&P 500 futures up 0.7 per cent to 1,214. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.7 per cent to 2,243.
Global economic worries led to losses in Asian markets, limited gains in Europe and kept the euro near 11-month lows.
Surveys showed Japanese business confidence and Chinese manufacturing had both slipped, while European industrial and services sectors continued to contract, though less than expected.
Later Thursday, U.S. reports on initial jobless claims, industrial production and other economic indicators are due.
Most European markets were up less than 1 per cent Thursday.