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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to gains on Wall Street Thursday, ahead of earnings from Apple ( AAPL) and on signs that manufacturing activity in China is improving.

European stocks were rising while Asian shares finished Thursday's session mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 1.1% to close at 9,055.20, a one-month high.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes initial jobless claims and durable-goods orders for September, both at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and pending home sales at 10 a.m.

U.S. stocks on Wednesday settled lower, after earlier gains in the session, following the Federal Reserve's policy announcement, the release of upbeat domestic housing market and Chinese economic data, and a handful of positive earnings results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25 points, or 0.19%, at 13,077.

Apple, the iPad, iPhone and iPod maker, is expected by analysts Thursday to post fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $8.82 cents a share on revenue of $35.8 billion.

Apple issues its report after Thursday's closing bell. ( AMZN), the Internet retailer, is seen posting a third-quarter loss of 7 cents a share, a reversal from year-earlier profit of 14 cents a share.

Procter & Gamble ( PG), the consumer-products giant, is expected by analysts Thursday to post fiscal first-quarter profit of 96 cents a share on revenue of $20.78 billion.

Telecommunications giant Sprint Nextel ( S) is seen reporting a third-quarter loss of 43 cents a share on revenue of $8.81 billion.

Credit Suisse ( CS) the Swiss banking giant, said it would cut an additional 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.07 billion) in costs in 2014 and 2015 after posting a 63% drop in third-quarter profit.

After his conviction on four felony counts of securities fraud, Rajat Gupta, the former head of consulting firm McKinsey & Co. and board director at Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble, was sentenced Wednesday to 24 months in prison and will pay a $5 million fine.

The San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers and ace pitcher Justin Verlander 8-3 on Wednesday to take a 1-0 lead in the World Series.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel

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