"The overnight headline that Obama had sent the Republican proposal back to the drawing board caused a short wobble in overnight markets," wrote Deutsche Bank analyst Gael Gunubu. "But sentiment has since bounced back with S&P 500 futures recovering from earlier lows to post a 0.1% as we type."
A surge of optimism reigned on Wall Street Thursday as it seemed Washington was beginning to sort out its debt ceiling issues.
At 9:55 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters will release the latest edition of their consumer sentiment index.
According to a recent Gallup poll, consumer confidence registered its sharpest one-week drop since the period immediately following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, with people worried about how the fracas in Washington could hit their wallets.
European markets were mostly higher in midday trading led by London's FTSE 100, with a gain of 0.7%. One star performer on the London Stock Exchange -- Royal Mail -- saw shares soar by more than 30% as it started trading following a much sought-after initial public offering.