Looking to party some more
U.S. stocks look to extend a rally after generally positive tech earnings.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Generally positive earnings could push U.S. stocks higher at Thursday's open, a day after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's Senate testimony led the Dow to one of its best days of the year.
S&P and Nasdaq futures were higher, although gains were muted when fair value was taken into account.
But one analyst warned that this year stocks have had trouble building on gains the day after a big jump.
"We're going to be looking for follow through, and if we don't get it the market could be in for a disappointing day," said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co.
But Hogan was optimistic, saying there was more good news out there than bad.
Like news from a number of tech companies that reported earnings after the bell Wednesday.
Apple (Charts) chalked up much better than expected earnings and sales that were roughly in line with projections thanks to strong sales of its popular iPod device. (Full story), and Motorola (Charts) also came in on the high side. (Full story)
In Instinet trading reported by Reuters, Apple was up 9.8 percent and Motorola was up 12.3 percent.
In economic news, the number of people filing initial claims for employment benefits last week fell 30,000 to its lowest level in a month.
New claims for state jobless benefits fell to 304,000 in the week ended July 15, from a an upwardly revised 334,000 new applications in the previous week, the Labor Department said.
On tap: the release of the minutes from the last Fed policy-setting meeting in June, due at 2 p.m. ET.
"That could be the most interesting thing of the day," said Hogan. "It's going to show us how divided this (Fed) is in terms of their next move."
Stocks rallied Wednesday after Bernanke said he was concerned about inflation but that slowing economic growth should lessen some of the upward pressure on prices. He added that a recession wasn't likely (full story).
Investors took the comments to mean the central bank's two-year interest-rate hiking campaign is nearing an end.
Bernanke is due back before the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday, where he is expected to repeat his remarks.
Oil was higher after two days of decline. U.S. crude futures were up 39 cents to $73.05 a barrel in electronic trading, while Brent crude in London rose 43 cents to $74.33 a barrel.
Treasury prices slipped, with the 10-year note yield rising to 5.06 percent from 5.05 percent late Wednesday.
Major markets in Asia finished higher and European exchanges also rose at midday, buoyed by Bernanke. The dollar gained on the euro and was little changed on the yen.
Related: More on markets before the open