Stock index futures pointed to a mixed open on Wall Street on Friday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.1 percent, while futures for both the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 were up 0.1 percent.

* Data at 1230 GMT is expected to show that U.S. companies stepped up hiring in June as the economy recovered from a stumble in recent months, although job growth was not expected to be strong enough to eat into high unemployment.

* Nonfarm payrolls are forecast to have risen by 90,000, according to a Reuters survey conducted last week. In May, employment rose a paltry 54,000. Many economists raised their forecasts on Thursday after a stronger-than-expected reading on U.S. private hiring from payrolls processor ADP, and they now expect gains of anywhere between 125,000 and 175,000.

* Caterpillar Inc , the world's largest maker of heavy equipment, said China's regulator had approved its acquisition of U.S. mining equipment firm Bucyrus International , paving the way for the company to complete a deal announced in November.

* The Commerce Department releases wholesale inventories for May at 1400 GMT. Economists forecast May inventories to rise 0.7 percent versus a 0.8 percent increase in April.

* At 1430 GMT, Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) releases its weekly index of economic activity for July 1. In the prior week the index read 126.4.

* In a startling response to the scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch's media empire, the British newspaper arm of News Corp announced it would publish the 168-year-old News of the World for the last time this weekend.

* The IMF executive board on Friday is expected to approve the disbursement of just over 3 billion euros for Greece, in time to help the country pay debts falling due this month.

* President Barack Obama told top U.S. lawmakers on Thursday he would not sign a short-term extension of the U.S. debt ceiling and said negotiators would work through the weekend on a deal to avoid a debt default.

* Air France-KLM hopes to announce the results of a contest between Airbus and Boeing to supply the European airline with wide-bodied jets during the summer, its chief executive said on Thursday.

* Newport Corp , a U.S. manufacturer and distributor of precision components, is to buy Israeli group Ophir Optronics for $230 million, to strengthen Newport's position in thermal imaging products.

* Google Inc is leaving open the door to more co-operation with social-media giants Facebook and Twitter, and believes there is room for multiple social networks as it rolls out its own, executive chairman Eric Schmidt said.

* The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares rose 0.2 percent on Friday after rising 0.4 percent in the previous session to its highest close in five weeks. Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> hit a four-month peak.

* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> shot up 93.47 points, or 0.74 percent, to 12,719.49. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 14 points, or 1.05 percent, to 1,353.22. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 38.64 points, or 1.36 percent, to 2,872.66.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash)