Street Set to Extend Rally

The stock market is coming off its best showing of the year Wednesday, when the Dow gained 287 points, or 2.4%, and returned to the black for 2012.

Both the S&P and the Nasdaq logged gains of at least 2.3%.

Futures this Thursday morning are poised to open flat to modestly higher.

Global investors are hopeful that Europe will “do” something to stem its debt crisis. While the European Central Bank did not provide the stimulus some investors were hoping for by cutting benchmark interest rates yesterday, it did strongly urge eurozone nations to unite as more than a monetary union.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress at 10 a.m. ET today. Investors want to know if he’ll signal the Fed’s ready to do more to keep the U.S. recovery going.

Nasdaq is saying “I’m sorry” for the botched Facebook IPO last month in an interesting, albeit controversial, way. The exchange is making a move to reimburse brokers that lost money on the debut -- $40 million in both cash and trading discounts.  But many firms say that’s not enough, and NYSE-Euronext says the discounts only subsidize Nasdaq’s business and set a “harmful precedent.”

In addition to facing anger from Wall Street, Nasdaq is facing both inquiries by regulators and lawsuits by investors.

Samsung’s new Galaxy S III phone is slated to hit U.S. store shelves June 21, but not if Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) gets its way. Apple is asking a court to block Samsung from selling the phone here and says Samsung has stolen its ideas and infringed on a pair of its software patents.  Samsung says Apple’s allegations are without merit.