European stocks were lower while Asian shares ended Thursday's session mostly with gains, getting a boost from a rise in HSBC Bank's preliminary survey on China's monthly manufacturing. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 1.3% to close at 10,620.87.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST, and December's leading economic indicators at 10 a.m.
U.S. stocks on Wednesday advanced, helped by upbeat earnings from high-profile companies and a debt-ceiling deal from Washington lawmakers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 67 points, or 0.5%, to 13,779. The blue-chip index climbed for the ninth session out of 10, a streak last seen in February 2011.
Apple shares dropped more than 10% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the tech giant's revenue trailed forecasts, earnings per share fell and profit margins shrank. Apple posted revenue of $54.5 billion in its fiscal first quarter, up from $46.33 billion a year earlier but below analysts' forecasts of $54.73 billion. It earned $13.81 a share, down from $13.87 a year earlier; analysts were looking for $13.47. Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 37 million a year earlier.
Netflix (NFLX) gained 2 million video-streaming subscribers in the U.S. during the fourth quarter, and posted a profit of $8 million during a period when analysts were expecting a loss.
Software giant Microsoft (MSFT) is expected by analysts Thursday to report fiscal second-quarter earnings of 75 cents a share on revenue of $21.6 billion.
3M (MMM) is expected by analysts Thursday to post fourth-quarter earnings of $1.41 a share on revenue of $7.18 billion.
Shipping giant UPS (UPS) is expected by analysts Thursday to post quarterly earnings of $1.38 a share on revenue of $14.44 billion.
Other companies expected to report earnings Thursday include AT&T (T), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Starbucks (SBUX).
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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