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, possibly setting the stage for a bounce if it does.
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.
S&P 500 futures were up 8.7 points and 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 71 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 10.5 points.
Growing concerns about Europe's debt crisis have set U.S. stocks up for their worst week in two months.
Euro zone and International Monetary Fund officials have discussed the idea of the European Central Bank lending to the IMF so it has sufficient resources to bail out even the biggest euro zone sovereigns, Reuters reported.
European sovereign debt yields, an important risk barometer for investors, eased from recent highs while the euro firmed. The yield on the Spanish 10-year, a recent focus of investors' concerns, fell back to 6.4 percent after rising above 7 percent earlier in the session.
But global equities remained under pressure. European shares were off their lows but still down 0.2 percent, while Japan's Nikkei stock average closed down 1.2 percent to it lowest in more than a month.
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.
H J Heinz Co reported lower quarterly profit early Friday, but the company stood by its full-year forecast. The shares fell 0.7 percent to $52.44 in premarket trade.
Shares in Blue Coat Systems Inc were up nearly 21 percent to $20.45 premarket after the maker of Internet-monitoring gear reported results late Thursday. However, Salesforce.com Inc fell 5.3 percent to $119.40 after it posted a quarterly net loss.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)