The optimism comes despite crude oil's rise above $106 per barrel. Portugal also headed closer to a bailout after its government quit late Wednesday. European leaders are meeting to discuss the region's debt problems.
In the U.S., investors will get updates on the job market and manufacturing industry. Economists expect a report to show the number of people filing for initial unemployment benefits dropped by 2,000 to 383,000 for the week ending March 19. Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods likely rose 1 percent last month.
Before the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 53 points to 120,074. S&P 500 futures are up 7 to 1,299. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 17 to 2,282.