Stock index futures rose sharply on Friday after a report the European Central Bank was gearing up to lend money to the International Monetary Fund in a bid to ease the euro zone debt crisis.

A European proposal to channel central bank loans through the International Monetary Fund may deliver as much as 200 billion euros ($270 billion) to fight the debt crisis, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

So we'll have European countries lending money to the IMF that will then lend money to European countries. One big circle and, 200 billion euros incrementally is not very much compared to what may be needed, said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.

Either way, it adds to the optimism that Europe is in the process of buying itself more time.

Investors also awaited a key employment report. U.S. jobs growth likely picked up speed in November, but the pace was not expected to be fast enough to bring down the country's 9 percent unemployment rate. Nonfarm payrolls was forecast increasing by 122,000 last month, according to a Reuters survey, which would outpace October's 80,000. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. EST.

S&P 500 futures rose 15.4 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 jumped 147 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 31.75 points.

Adding further support to the market, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her strong support for the euro, and called for rapid European Union treaty change to remedy the root causes of the euro zone's debt crisis but warned that Europeans faced a long, hard marathon to restore lost credibility.

A top Chinese foreign ministry official said Europe cannot expect China to use a big portion of its $3.2 trillion foreign exchange reserves to rescue indebted nations, Beijing's strongest rebuttal yet to suggestions it should bail out the region.

European stocks <.FTEU3> rose 1.4 percent on Friday and were set to post their biggest weekly gains since the onset of the financial crisis in late 2008.

U.S.-listed shares of Research in Motion Ltd fell 3 percent to $18.10 in premarket trade after the BlackBerry maker said it will record a pretax charge to write down the value of its poorly received PlayBook tablet computer.

Google Inc is pondering an Internet service to help consumers shop online, hoping to cut the loss of Web traffic to Amazon.com Inc , the Wall Street Journal reported.

Three leading U.S. senators are inquiring into drugmaker Pfizer Inc's
efforts to limit the sale of generic versions of its Lipitor cholesterol drug, which lost U.S. patent protection this week.

U.S. stocks drifted on Thursday after the previous day's massive gains, but traders worried that recent strong data could set the market up for a selloff should Friday's jobs report fall short of hopes.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)