By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures were a touch higher on Thursday as markets assessed President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, with data on durable-goods orders and earnings from giants including AT&T on deck.
S&P 500 futures edged up eight-tenths of a point to 1,095.40 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up a quarter point to 1,809.20. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2 points.
News Hub: In Speech, Obama Says Jobs a Priority
WSJ's Kate Kelly and Jerry Seib parse President Barack Obama's first State of the Union address on The News Hub. They tell Kelly Evans that while there were plenty of digs to go around, the president ultimately focused on job growth.
On an event-filled Wednesday -- the Fed growing more optimistic on the economy as it held rates, Apple introducing the iPad, Toyota Motor recalling cars, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner defending the AIG bailout and several earnings -- U.S. stocks rose, with the Dow industrials rising 41 points, the Nasdaq Composite adding 17 points and the S&P 500 growing 5 points.
Speaking to the nation and members of Congress in a high-stakes policy address, President Barack Obama late Wednesday used his first State of the Union speech to call for a host of job creation measures and a redoubled effort to finish health-care reform in the midst of a newly challenging political environment for him and his party.
Stock markets in Europe and Asia -- which also were getting their first opportunity to react to the Fed statement -- were generally stronger, with the Nikkei 225 up 1.6% in Tokyo and the pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 rising 0.9%.
Obama's call for tax breaks, as well as a less strident attack on banks vs. what was seen last week, appeared to go down well overseas.
On tap on Thursday are results from corporate heavyweights including Ford Motor Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!f/quotes/nls/f (F 11.55, +0.36, +3.22%) , Procter & Gamble /quotes/comstock/13*!pg/quotes/nls/pg (PG 60.81, +0.12, +0.20%) and AT&T /quotes/comstock/13*!t/quotes/nls/t (T 25.62, +0.29, +1.14%) , and after the close, Microsoft /quotes/comstock/15*!msft/quotes/nls/msft (MSFT 29.67, +0.17, +0.58%) and Amazon.com /quotes/comstock/15*!amzn/quotes/nls/amzn (AMZN 122.75, +3.27, +2.74%) .
Ford also will be in the spotlight as rival Toyota Motor /quotes/comstock/13*!tm/quotes/nls/tm (TM 79.77, -7.01, -8.08%) expanded its recall of cars in the U.S.
The economics calendar features weekly jobless claims and December durable goods orders, with both sets off reports due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.
Yields on 10-year Treasury bonds rose 3 basis points to 3.68%, and the dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 78.65, -0.02, -0.03%) was a touch lower.
Platinum futures surged over $28 an ounce, while crude oil futures rose 58 cents a barrel.
Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief.