Stock index futures rose on Friday after Europe's debt crisis drove heavy market losses this week, with the S&P 500 falling through important technical levels and possibly facing another key test of the strength.

Selling on Thursday afternoon pushed the S&P 500 through a support level at around 1,230. The next key test will be whether the index can hold its 50-day moving average just above 1,200.

As risk assets begin to pull back or pause, many are quickly moving back to important trading support near 50-day moving averages, Robert Sluymer, a technical analyst at RBC Capital Markets in New York, said in a note. This sets the stage for another rebound to develop in the coming few days or week.

Growing concerns about Europe's debt crisis have set U.S. stocks up for their worst week in two months. On Friday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pressed Eurozone governments to kick-start its rescue fund.

European sovereign debt yields, an important risk barometer for investors, eased from recent highs while the euro firmed.

But global equities remained under pressure. European shares fell 0.3 percent in early trade, while Japan's Nikkei stock average closed down 1.2 percent to it lowest in more than a month.

S&P 500 futures were up 14.4 points but were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 111 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 20.75 points.

The S&P 500 is down 3.8 percent this week. That would be its worst weekly run since late September.

In another crisis flashpoint, Greece's national unity government will submit a 2012 austerity budget to parliament on Friday, its first task in meeting the terms of an international bailout, but a rift widened between the coalition's main parties.

The crisis comes at a time when the U.S. economy is gaining steam as factories produce more cars and slowing inflation relieves pressure on spending power. That is putting the country on a stronger footing to resist an economic storm gathering over Europe.

The Conference Board releases its report on October leading economic indicators at 10:00 a.m. EST (1500 GMT). Economists forecast a 0.6 percent increase, compared with a 0.2 percent rise in September.

Deutsche Boerse AG and NYSE Euronext confirmed it plans to sell equity-option businesses across Europe and give rivals access to a major derivatives clearinghouse in an effort to win support for their merger from regulators.

H J Heinz Co. reported lower quarterly profit early Friday, but the company stood by its full-year forecast.

Shares in Blue Coat Systems Inc. were up 13.4 percent after the bell on Thursday as the maker of Internet-monitoring gear reported results. However, Inc fell 7.4 percent after it posted a quarterly net loss.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)