(REUTERS) -- U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open for equities on Wall Street on Friday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 rising 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent.

Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers were due at 1455 GMT final February consumer sentiment index. Economists expected a reading of 73.0, compared with 72.5 in the preliminary February report.

A Chinese firm trying to stop Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) using the iPad name in China has launched an attack on the consumer electronics giant's home turf, filing a lawsuit in California accusing it of employing deception when buying the trademark.

The Commerce Department releases new home sales for January at 1500 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 315,000 annualized units, against 307,000 in December.

Citigroup (C) sold its stake in Indian group Housing Development Finance Corp (Nasdaq: HDFC) for $1.9 billion, as global banks focus on shoring up their balance sheets to meet stricter capital requirements.

Economic Cycle Research Institute was set to release its weekly index of economic activity for February 17 at 1530 GMT. In the prior week, the index read 123.5.

Shares in American International Group (NYSE: AIG) and Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) rose 6.2 percent and 11 percent respectively after the bell on Thursday following results.

Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM) said it expected a rise in costs for copper and gold in 2012, mainly due to higher labor and power prices and estimated lower production at a mine in Indonesia.

JC Penney (NYSE: JCP) will announce results. Wall Street has priced in a profit of 68 cents per share, down from $1.09 a year ago. Other companies announcing results include Northeast Utilities (NYSE: NU) and the Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).

Mexican finance minister Jose Antonio Meade will host a two-day meeting of peers and central bankers from the Group of 20 leading economies at the weekend. The meeting will likely be dominated by discussion of the euro zone debt crisis.

European shares rose 0.3 percent on Friday on expectation the European Central Bank will lend a vast amount to banks at next week's three-year refinancing operation and company results will continue to show an improvement in profit.

Germany's economy contracted 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter on sagging exports and private consumption. Analysts said they expected Europe's growth engine to pick up steam again this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 46.02 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,984.69. The S&P 500 Index .INX rose 5.80 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,363.46. The Nasdaq Composite added 23.81 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,956.98.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash)