Dow Jones industrial average index futures were up 0.1%, Standard & Poor's 500 index futures rose 0.2% and Nasdaq index futures added 0.2%.
Global stocks continued to focus on CHina's economy and a possible slowdown.
In early European trading, stocks clung to a tight range. Britain's FTSE 100 inched down 0.2% to 6,610 while Germany's DAX rose 0.2% to 9,208.
Asian stock markets were mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.1% to 14,815.98 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.7% to 21,756.08. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite rose 1.1% to 2,019.11.
Oil prices rose in early trading a day after falling below $100 a barrel. A barrel of benchmark crude for April delivery was up 45 cents to $98.44 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $2.04, or 2%, to close at $97.99 on Wednesday.
U.S. stocks closed mixed on Wednesday as the Dow fell 11.17 points, or 0.1% to close at 16,340.08. The Dow has now fallen for three consecutive days. The S&P 500 index was basically flat, rising 0.57 to 1,868.20 and the Nasdaq composite index rose 16.14 points, or 0.4% at 4,323.33. The Nasdaq broke it's four day losing streak.
WEDNESDAY: Stocks close mixed; Dow falls for a third day