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U.S. Premarket Futures Point to Higher Open

Premarket futures were pointing to a higher open for stocks in New York Thursday as swift passage of a bill to bail out the U.S. financial system looked increasingly probable, and despite General Electric's (GE - Get Report) announcement Thursday that it expects lower third-quarter and full-year earnings.

Futures for the S&P 500 were up 8 points at 1201 and were 14 ahead of fair value. Nasdaq futures were gaining 19 points at 1691 and were 21 above fair value.

On Wednesday, the three major indices finished narrowly mixed after a day of erratic trading. Investors were focused on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's $700 billion bailout plan for the financial sector.

Speaking Wednesday evening, President Bush called for a quick approval of the Treasury plan and said that the economy would face a recession if the package were not approved. Bush called an emergency meeting with presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama, as well as certain members of Congress, to work out a plan to pass the bill.

After Bush's speech, Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told CNBC that he believed the bill would pass.

Elsewhere, shareholders in Delta (DAL - Get Report) and Northwest (NWA) are scheduled to vote on a merger between the two airlines, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Looking at the day's economic data, the Census Bureau's look at August durable-goods orders is due for release, as is the Department of Labor's weekly jobless claims report. The Census bureau also is slated to report on new-home sales for August.

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