U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday as investors sought to determine whether a pullback is on the horizon after a 6-month rally and braced for options expiration.

Analysts said investors were trying to decide if further market gains were justified, with the benchmark S&P 500 now up 58 percent since early March lows.

Today is an expiration day, and you tend to see very often short term peaks or bottoms around then, said Barry Ritholtz, director of equity research at Fusion IQ in New York.

A lot of traders seem to be underinvested and have been sitting on the sidelines as the market's just gone higher and higher. We'll find out if this is the expiration that puts an end to it.

S&P 500 futures fell 0.6 points and were slightly above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 8 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 2.25 points.

Chevron Corp gained 0.7 percent to $72.47 after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral but said it expects major U.S. and European integrated oil companies to struggle to boost production to 2020.

Palm Inc
fell 3 percent to $14.01 after the company gave a tepid second-quarter sales forecast and said it plans to sell more shares, even as it reported a smaller-than-expected loss due to sales of its new Pre smartphone.

Friday marks the quarterly expiration and settlement of four different types of September equity futures and options contracts -- a convergence known as quadruple witching that can lead to greater volume and volatility as traders unwind positions.

AMR Corp's American Airlines will team up with British Airways Plc and Qantas Airways Ltd to expand an alliance with cash-strapped Japan Airlines Corp <9205.T>, two people with direct knowledge of the talks said.

The proposal, which would include a capital injection from American Air but may not bring money from British Airways or Qantas, is aimed at thwarting Delta Air Lines Inc , a member of a rival alliance that is also in talks to invest in JAL.

Boeing Co will garner attention after the head of Airbus said in remarks in the Wall Street Journal Friday that the European planemaker faces two further difficult years and does not rule out making more production cuts to adjust to demand.

European shares were mixed on Friday after hitting an 11-month peak in the previous session, with banks slipping after British regulators set tougher-than-expected terms on Lloyds Banking Group PLC's exit from a government scheme.

Asian stocks retreated from 13-month highs on Friday and commodity prices dipped after U.S. data gave a conflicting picture about the strength of a recovery.

U.S. stocks slipped Thursday after a three-day run-up on concern that recent gains were overextended.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)