S&P 500 futures were up 0.3%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures added 0.2%, and Nasdaq futures climbed 0.4%.
American Express moved 2.6% higher in premarket trading following a first-quarter earnings beat. The credit card company reported earnings of $1.34 a share on revenue of $7.9 billion. Analysts anticipated $1.28 a share in earnings on sales of roughly $7.7 billion. Excluding its Costco-related revenue, adjusted sales came in 7% higher than a year earlier.
Qualcomm added 1.1% in premarket trading following better-than-expected earnings and sales over its fiscal second quarter. Per-share earnings of $1.34 a share beat expectations of $1.19, while revenue of $5.99 billion came in higher than analysts' targets of $5.89 billion. Qualcomm's third-quarter profit guidance of 90 cents to $1.15 a share bracketed estimates of $1.09.
The chipmaker is currently embroiled in two different lawsuits over high patent fees, including a $1 billion claim against it by Apple (AAPL) . The company, which is one of Apple's suppliers, said it is not clear whether Apple's contract manufacturers will underpay royalties owed under their contracts this quarter.
Verizon (VZ) declined by 1.6% before the bell after just falling shy of profit estimates over its first quarter and reporting a decline in revenue. Adjusted earnings of 95 cents a share came in a penny short of estimates. Revenue fell to $29.81 billion over the quarter, down from $32.17 a year earlier and below consensus of $30.41 billion. Wireless customers fell for the first time. The telecom committed to previous 2017 guidance.
Travelers (TRV) reported a drop in quarterly profit as catastrophe losses rose over the first quarter. The insurance company earned net income of $2.17 a share over its recent quarter, down from $2.30 a share a year earlier and below estimates of $2.37 a share. CEO Alan Schnitzer said the company saw "unusually high first quarter catastrophe losses that arose from a record number of tornado and hail events."
Railway operator CSX (CSX) added 5.6% after exceeding analysts' estimates on its top- and bottom-lines. Earnings of 51 cents a share topped consensus by 8 cents. Revenue climbed nearly 10% to $2.87 billion, $110 million above estimates.
eBay (EBAY) fell 3% after earnings and sales came in largely in-line with estimates. The auction site earned 49 cents a share, just a penny higher than expected. Revenue rose 3.7% to $2.22 billion, meeting analysts' consensus. eBay said total global active buyers surged by 2 million over the first quarter to 169 million.
Foot Locker (FL) rose 2.6% in premarket trading despite warning of lower profit in its first quarter than previously anticipated. The athletic footwear retailer expects first-quarter earnings between $1.36 to $1.39 a share, while same-store sales should rise in the low single-digit percentages. Analysts anticipated earnings of $1.47 a share, though same-store sales expectations were in-line. CEO Richard Johnson said the slower arrival time of income tax refunds had contributed to disappointing February same-store sales.
Virtu Financial (VIRT) rose more than 7% after agreeing to acquire KCG Holdings (KCG) in a deal with total value of $1.4 billion. The securities company said it woul purchase KCG for $20 a share, 13% above Wednesday's close. Virtu will borrow $1.65 billion and sell $750 million in stock to finance the acquisition. The deal should close in the third quarter.
Crude oil prices rebounded on Thursday from their largest single-day decline in more than a month a day earlier. Commodities received a boost after Saudi Arabia's energy minister said Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members could extend their production cap agreement beyond an original June deadline. Current production caps have removed 1.8 million barrels of crude from the global market each day.
West Texas Intermediate crude was up 0.9% to $50.88 a barrel on Thursday.