Investors will receive reports Thursday on the number of new claims for unemployment benefits last week and the U.S. trade deficit in July. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will give a speech in the afternoon detailing his outlook for the U.S. economy. President Barack Obama will appear before Congress tonight and lay out his jobs plan.
Hog producer Smithfield Foods rose nearly 3 percent before the market opened after the hog producer said that profits rose last quarter.
Two hours before the opening bell, Dow futures were up 8 points, or 0.1 percent, to 11,423. S&P 500 futures gained 1, or 0.1 percent, to 1,199. Nasdaq 100 futures edged up 7, or 0.3 percent, to 2,229.