Stock index futures pointed to a fourth straight day of gains on Friday after Citigroup said it did not need any more government capital infusions, bolstering investor optimism that banks might be seeing some stabilization.

Before the bell, shares of Citigroup jumped nearly 14 percent to $1.90 after Chairman Richard Parsons told Reuters the bank does not need any more government capital injections and expressed confidence Citi would remain in private hands.

If it's true that Citigroup doesn't need any more money from the federal bailout, that's going to be huge, said Matt McCall, president of Penn Financial Group in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

That could drive this market up for another week or two. That really would be one of those short-term catalysts that I've been looking for as the reasons to put money back into the market.

The jump in futures suggested that easing fears over banks would help Wall Street snap a four-week losing streak and score its longest string of daily advances since January.

Sentiment also got a boost from news that China was ready to pump more money into its economy, the world's third biggest.

S&P 500 futures rose 6.60 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 climbed 59 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures jumped 5.75 points.

Parson's comments in an interview with Reuters rounded off a spate of upbeat statements from other U.S. bank executives, including those of JPMorgan and Bank of America , who all said 2009 had gotten off to a good start.

That optimism has helped the benchmark S&P 500 stock index <.SPX> bounce off 12-year lows, rising about 11 percent in the past three days. Since the start of 2009, however, it is still down about 17 percent.

JPMorgan shares were up 3 percent at $23.87 before the bell, while Bank of America climbed 6.2 percent to $6.21.

Friday's economic calendar includes the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers preliminary March consumer sentiment index, due at 9:55 a.m. EDT. It is forecast at 55.0 in March, against February's final reading of 56.3.

U.S. stocks rose for a third day on Thursday on relief that a ratings cut by S&P in General Electric was just by one notch and that no further cuts loomed, while retail sales data showed some stabilization in consumer spending.

(Editing by James Dalgleish)