Stock index futures pointed to a mixed open on Wall Street on Friday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.4 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.01 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.01 percent.

Investors awaited U.S. monthly retail sales, as well as the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for March. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 0.2 percent decline in sales compared with a 0.5 percent increase in January. Excluding automobiles, sales are seen up 0.1 percent compared with a 0.6 percent rise the prior month.

National Semiconductor Corp posted results and a revenue outlook that beat estimates, as sales to industrial markets and improved corporate spending pushed margins to a record high. The company's stock traded in Frankfurt was up 0.6 percent.

U.S. teen retailer Aeropostale Inc on Thursday posted a sharply higher quarterly net profit that beat Wall Street estimates on strong holiday sales, sending its shares up 5 percent.

Chemical stocks will be in the spotlight after the world's largest fertilizer maker Potash Corp of Saskatchewan
sharply raised its first-quarter forecast on Thursday, citing a sharp rebound in demand for potash -- a key crop nutrient.

Canadian fertilizer maker Agrium Inc is abandoning its $5.4 billion bid for U.S. rival CF Industries , ending a drawn out takeover battle and bringing CF one step closer to closing a deal with Terra Industries .

Japan's Nikkei average reached its highest close in seven weeks on Friday, as exporters got a boost from speculation that the yen may weaken if the Bank of Japan takes additional steps to ease monetary policy next week, while European stocks inched higher in early trade, led by banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland and Credit Suisse .

The S&P 500 hit a 17-month closing high on Thursday as rising bank shares led a late rally that lifted U.S. stocks, eclipsing concerns China may move to cool its overheating economy. Financial stocks added to recent sharp gains, helped in part by the possibility new banking regulations being studied by U.S. Congress could be watered down.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 44.51 points, or 0.42 percent, to 10,611.84. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 4.63 points, or 0.40 percent, to close at 1,150.24. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 9.51 points, or 0.40 percent, to 2,368.46.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)