Stocks retained an upward bias early Thursday as strong overseas sessions and the absence of any major economic headwinds left buyers in control.

Index futures recently showed both the

S&P 500

and Nasdaq 100 trading 2 points above fair value. The 10-year Treasury note was unchanged in price to yield 5.15%, while the dollar rose against the yen and euro.

Foreign stocks rose, with London's FTSE 100 recently adding 1% to 5723 and Germany's Xetra DAX gaining 0.9% to 5551. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rallied 3.4% overnight to 15,136, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.1% to 15,827.

In New York Wednesday, solid earnings in the transportation and brokerage sectors lifted the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

and S&P 500 by 1% and the

Nasdaq Composite

by 1.6%. The rally moved the S&P 500 back into positive territory for the year, although it remains down about 1.4% since the start of June.

Helping stocks has been relative quiet from the

Federal Reserve

in the runup to a two-day meeting that starts in Washington next Wednesday. Economic data has also been light. On Thursday, investors will see first-time jobless claims and the index of leading economic indicators for May.

Most commodity prices were higher Thursday. Crude, which jumped nearly a dollar Wednesday on lingering tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions, was up another 61 cents to $70.94 a barrel Thursday. Gold gained $5 to $596 an ounce, while copper added 12.5 cents to $3.24 a pound and silver gained 12 cents to $10.54 an ounce.

Among companies,

Jabil Circuit

(JBL) - Get Report

reported adjusted third-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share, within the range of guidance that was cut one week ago. Executives of the semiconductor company also said they planned unspecified job cuts and plant closings and disclosed a subpoena in the stock options backdating probe.

To view Ana Dane's video take on today's premarket action, click here


Bed Bath & Beyond's

(BBBY) - Get Report

first-quarter earnings rose 2% to $100.4 million, or 35 cents a share, matching estimates. Shares fell after executives on a conference call pegged full year net at $2.17 a share, 2 cents below Wall Street estimates.


General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

executive reportedly says the automaker is trending toward a "good second quarter." Wire reports quoted GM vice president for global purchasing Bo Andersson speaking at an industry conference in Vienna.


(ORCL) - Get Report

reports fourth-quarter earnings after the bell. Analysts are looking for net income of 28 cents a share on revenue of $4.74 billion. In early ratings news, Lehman raised


(NFLX) - Get Report

to overweight, while Merrill Lynch upped

General Mills

(GIS) - Get Report

to buy from neutral.