Stock index futures edged higher on Friday ahead of a much anticipated European Union weekend summit on the region's debt crisis and as results from General Electric Co did little to undermine hopes for a robust earnings season.

* GE's third-quarter earnings rose 18 percent, meeting Wall Street's estimate, with profit up at its jet engine, healthcare equipment and railroad locomotive units, as well as the hefty GE Capital finance arm. The shares were flat at $16.63.

* France and Germany said in a joint statement that European leaders would discuss a solution to the crisis on Sunday, but no decisions would be adopted before a second meeting to be held by Wednesday at the latest.

* Our perspective is that as time progresses the markets are going to realize there is not going to be a quick resolution to Europe, and these 17 member states of the euro zone are going to make incremental progress, said Oliver Pursche, president at Gary Goldberg Financial Services in Suffern, New York.

* S&P 500 futures rose 9.3 points and were 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 added 77 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 17 points.

* German business sentiment fell for the fourth month in a row in October, dropping to its lowest level since mid-2010 and compounding fears Europe's powerhouse economy is headed for a sharp slowdown.

* Senate Republicans and Democrats rejected each other's economic stimulus bills on Thursday, underscoring their inability to craft a bipartisan solution to create jobs before next year's elections.

* U.S. coal giant Peabody Energy Corp cleared the biggest hurdle to its long-running ambitions to buy Australia's Macarthur Coal after Macarthur's major shareholder, China's Citic Resources, backed its $4.9 billion ($5 billion) bid.

* Duke Realty Corp said it will sell its suburban office portfolio to private equity firm Blackstone Group for $1.08 billion.

* Exxon Mobil Corp's refining complex in Singapore suffered a power outage, industry sources said on Friday. It was unclear when the outage started and which units have been affected.

* European shares <.FTEU3> rose 1.5 percent on Friday on hopes decisions would emerge to resolve the region's debt crisis.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)