Wall Street prepped for a rally
Strong results from industry bellwethers Thursday push futures higher a day after the Dow topped 13,000.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Strong earnings from a slew of big-name stocks including Apple, 3M and ExxonMobil look set to push stocks higher Thursday, building on the previous session's record high for the Dow.
S&P futures extended gains while Nasdaq futures jumped early Thursday, pointing to a higher start for Wall Street.
Diversified manufacturer 3M (Charts, Fortune 500), maker of Scotch tape, Post-it notes and other products, Thursday reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat analysts' forecasts, sending its shares higher in pre-market trading.
Ford Motor (Charts, Fortune 500) lost less money than expected in the first quarter, and the troubled automaker said Thursday that it is making progress in its turnaround plans but still faces many uncertainties.
Earnings are due from three Dow components Thursday, a day after the Dow jumped above 13,000 for the first time, rising about 1 percent.
In commodities trading, oil fell in early trading. U.S. light crude lost 52 cents to $65.32 a barrel in electronic trading.
Treasury prices were little changed, leaving the yield on the 10-year note near 4.65 percent.
Shares in Europe rose in early trading.
Dutch bank ABN Amro (Charts) said it will open its books to a rival group of bidders led by Royal Bank of Scotland, which Wednesday made a $98 billion bid for the bank that topped the $91 billion bid ABN had previously accepted from Barclays (Charts).
In other corporate news, federal prosecutors are reviewing stock option grants at BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (Charts), the company announced late Wednesday. The company also announced that co-CEO Jim Balsillie would give up his other role as the company's chairman.
An influential proxy advisory firm recommended Wednesday that Motorola (Charts, Fortune 500) shareholders elect activist investor Carl Icahn to the board, although another proxy advisory firm recommended refusing the billionaire financier a seat.
Fast-food chain Wendy's International (Charts), which has already shed two of its chains in a turnaround effort, said Wednesday it is reviewing strategic options, including a possible sale of the company. The after-hours announcement sent the stock, which has been lagging, soaring 13 percent in extended trading.