U.S. stock index futures point up; earnings eyed

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher start on Wall
Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 (SPc1: ), Dow
Jones (DJc1: ) and Nasdaq (NDc1: ) 0.3-0.4 percent higher at 0903
GMT.

* Earnings news will be in the spotlight, with third-quarter
results from Caterpillar (CAT.N: ) likely to provide further
insight into the health of the construction sector.

Other results investors may eye include third-quarter
figures from American Express Company (AXP.N: ), SanDisk Corp.
(SNDK.O: ) and Amazon.com (AMZN.O: ).

* On late Wednesday, EBay Inc (EBAY.O: ) posted a
better-than-expected quarterly profit and forecast stronger
holiday earnings as the Internet commerce company enjoyed robust
growth at PayPal while striving to reinvigorate its main
marketplaces unit. [ID: nN20228251]

* High-flying Web video and DVD rental service Netflix Inc
(NFLX.O: ) late on Wednesday posted better-than-expected
third-quarter subscriber growth and raised its customer
forecast. [ID:nN20229905]

* Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said
major world currencies were “roughly in alignment” and called on
Group of 20 finance leaders to agree to “norms” on exchange rate
policy. [ID:nN21252058]

Laying out his agenda for this weekend’s G20 meetings in
South Korea, Geithner said in a Wall Street Journal interview he
would seek numerical targets for “sustainable” trade surpluses
and deficits as a way to help rebalance the global economy.

* The dollar rose on short-covering after comments by
Geithner that major currencies were roughly in alignment, but
tempered its gains ahead of a G20 meeting likely to debate
currency policies. [ID:nTOE69K057]

* Elsewhere, U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N: ) is
considering paying back a $5 billion investment made by Warren
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: ), the Wall Street
Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
[ID:nSGE69K077]

* Looking at macroeconomic news, at 1230 GMT investors will
eye first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended
Oct. 16. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of
455,000 new filings compared with 462,000 in the prior week.

At 1400 GMT is the release of both U.S. Leading Indicators
for September and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank releases
October business activity survey.

* China’s growth ebbed in the third quarter while inflation
edged just a touch higher, showing that the world’s
second-largest economy was strong but far from overheating and
suggesting that an interest rate rise this week may be enough
for now. [ID:nTOE69K00X]

* European shares rose slightly on Thursday, with food and
beverage makers gaining after Pernod Ricard (PERP.PA: ) posted
forecast-beating first-quarter sales, while drugmakers slipped
as Actelion (ATLN.VX: ) said it wanted to stay independent.

By 0903 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: )
index of top shares was up 0.1 percent at 1,087.27 points.

* Wall Street bounced back on Wednesday as a fall in the
dollar spurred buying in industrial and commodity-linked shares,
while another batch of strong corporate earnings added to gains.
[ID:nN20241352]

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) gained 1.2 percent,
the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) rose 1.1 percent and the
Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) added 0.8 percent.
(Reporting by Joanne Frearson; Editing by Mike Nesbit)

U.S. stock index futures point up; earnings eyed