U.S. Stocks: Futures Up As Ford, Facebook Rise Premarket

Stock futures rose on Thursday as well-received earnings lifted shares of Facebook Inc. and Ford Motor Co. on a busy day for corporate results.

Strong data out of China also underpinned gains across global markets, while in the U.S., investors will be waiting on data that could show a potential drop in new-home sales. Weekly jobless claims are also on tap.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJU4) rose 26 points to 17,051, while those for the S&P 500 (SPU4)(SPU4) added 3 points to 1,983.80. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 (NDU4) gained 11.25 points to 3,986.75, a rise of 0.2%.

Ford(F) shares rose 1% in premarket after the car maker beat earnings expectations. General Motors Co. (GM.XX) will also report results.

Among the rest of the early reporters are 3M Co. (MMM), AmerisourceBergen Corp. (ABC), Caterpillar Inc. (CAT).

Shares of Facebook Inc. (F) jumped more than 7% in premarket action after profit and sales beat expectations. Gilead Sciences Inc.(GILD) posted strong second-quarter results, lifting shares 1% in after-hours trading.

(SPU4)Qualcomm Inc.(QCOM) was under pressure after the wireless-tech company noted some worries about licensees in China, even as it lifted its full-year adjusted earnings outlook. Shares fell more than 5% in premarket.

The biggest piece of data for Thursday could be new-home sales, and economists polled by MarketWatch are expecting the annualized sales pace of new single-family homes dropped to 475,000 in June, from a big 504,000-jump in May. The data is due at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Ahead of that, jobless claims are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, and economists expect the pace of layoffs remained low in the most recent weekly period.

After several days of flip-flopping between gains and losses, the S&P 500 index (SPX) index logged its 26th record close this year on Wednesday, boosted by well-received results from Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) and Apple Inc. (AAPL).

Outside of a loss for the Nikkei 225 index , Asian stocks rose across the board Thursday with a 1.2% gain for the China Shanghai Composite , after a preliminary reading of Chinese manufacturing data from HSBC hit an 18-month high. European stocks gained across the board amid a big earnings day there.

Crude-oil (CLU4) edged lower along with gold prices (GCQ4), while the dollar (DXY) steadied.