* At 4 a.m. ET, futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.13 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.13 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.16 percent.
* Oil-related companies will be in the spotlight again on Friday. The U.S. government ratcheted up efforts to avert an environmental disaster as a massive oil slick leaking from a ruptured well moved closer to the mouth of the Mississippi River on Thursday, menacing the delicate coastline of Louisiana and three other Gulf states.
* UAL Corp's United Airlines and Continental Airlines Inc are expected to announce that they are merging to form the world's largest airline on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
* U.S. federal prosecutors in New York have begun investigating Goldman Sachs Group Inc , raising the possibility of criminal charges against the company or its employees, a source familiar with the situation said on Thursday.
* European shares were up 0.4 percent in morning trade while Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> climbed 1.2 percent, both markets regaining some ground lost earlier in the week as signs that a bailout for debt-ridden Greece could come soon eased fears of wider credit woes.
* A multi-billion-euro aid package for Greece will be hammered out within days and will prevent the crisis from spilling over to other countries, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Friday.
* After the bell on Thursday, shares of McAfee Inc slumped 7 percent in extended trade after the company reported quarterly results; shares of Expedia Inc rose 5.4 percent after the company reported first-quarter results, shares of Monster Worldwide Inc tumbled 6.4 percent after the company reported a wider quarterly loss.
* Companies expected to report quarterly results on Friday include Chevron , Newell Rubbermaid Inc , D.R. Horton Inc and Nasdaq OMX Group .
* Economic data on tap for Friday includes the advance reading of first-quarter gross domestic product, Chicago PMI for April and the final consumer sentiment reading for April.
* U.S. stocks chalked up their best day in nearly two months on Thursday as investors welcomed a string of robust earnings reports, while Greece appeared close to a bailout deal, easing fears about a wider sovereign debt crisis.
* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 122.05 points, or 1.10 percent, to 11,167.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 15.42 points, or 1.29 percent, to 1,206.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 40.19 points, or 1.63 percent, to 2,511.92.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)