By Alexandra Gibbs, CNBC–
U.S. stock index futures ticked higher ahead of Thursday’s open, as markets awaited a fresh batch of corporate earnings, while keeping an eye on the political space.
Around 5:00 a.m. ET, Dow futures rose 37 points, indicating a higher open of 46.46 points. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 futures indicated a relatively positive start to the session for their respective markets.
The moves in pre-market trade came after U.S. stocks finished the previous session in the black. Stocks had been on the rise following a strong uptick in crude futures.
Oil prices have been on the rise since Tuesday, when the U.S. announced that it would be withdrawing from the Iran nuclear accord set in place in 2015. Prices have continued to extend gains Thursday, with Brent hovering around $77.75 per barrel and U.S. crude around $71.65 during morning trade. U.S. allies in Europe have been trying to salvage the Iran deal, and preserve their trade relations with Tehran.
Coming up Thursday, data and earnings are set to keep investors busy. At 8:30 a.m. ET, jobless claims and consumer price index (CPI) figures are set to be published, followed by the monthly treasury statement at 2 p.m. ET.
In politics, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania welcomed a plane carrying three Americans, who were recently released by North Korea. The news is seen as an encouraging sign of better relations in the future between the U.S. and North Korea.
In markets overseas, markets in Asia closed higher on the back of higher oil prices, while stocks in Europe fluctuated around the flatline, as investors awaited a monetary policy decision by the Bank of England.