Stock index futures pointed to a higher opening for Wall Street on Friday ahead of U.S. retail sales data, with futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq 100 up 0.4 to 0.7 percent at 4:37 a.m. EST.

The main focus will be the Commerce Department release of November retail sales at 8:30 a.m. EST. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 0.7 percent rise compared with a 1.4 percent increase in October. Excluding automobiles, sales are seen up 0.4 percent, compared with a 0.2 percent increase the prior month.

At 9:55 a.m. EST is the release of the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers December consumer sentiment index. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a preliminary December reading of 68.5 compared with 67.4 in the final November report.

In other news, Boeing Co said on Thursday it has opened the flight test window for its 787 Dreamliner starting December 15, allaying concerns that the hotly anticipated aircraft -- already two years behind schedule -- will miss its latest target of taking to the skies before year end.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp's chief executive, Robert Kelly, has resurfaced as a possible candidate to succeed retiring Bank of America Corp's chief executive, Kenneth Lewis, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Google Inc and Apple Inc , which have long thrived without treading on one another's turf, are vying to acquire some of the same Silicon Valley start-ups and developing products that put themselves in more direct competition, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Shares in National Semiconductor Corp dropped 3 percent to $14.85 after the bell on Thursday after the company posted quarterly results.

There are no major U.S. companies reporting on Friday.

European shares rose on Friday led by commodity stocks and banking shares, with the FTSEurofirst <.FTEU3> index of top shares up 1 percent at 1,015.04 points at 4:37 a.m. EST.

Chinese industrial output surged in November to its fastest pace since June 2007, underlining the economy's brisk recovery from the global downturn and accompanying the return of consumer inflation and import growth.

U.S. stocks gained on Thursday as signs of improving trends in the job market and a decline in the U.S. October trade deficit reassured investors the economy was on a steady growth path.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 68.78 points, or 0.67 percent, at 10,405.83. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> ended up 6.40 points, or 0.58 percent, at 1,102.35. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> closed up 7.13 points, or 0.33 percent, at 2,190.86.

(Reporting by Joanne Frearson; Editing by Greg Mahlich)