U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Friday ahead of key data expected to show a small gain in new orders for durable goods.
A pledge from world leaders at the Group of 20 nations summit to keep emergency economic supports in place until a robust recovery takes hold helped stem recent fears that government efforts to support financial markets would end anytime soon.
The U.S. durable goods data at 8:30 a.m. EDT is expected to show new orders rose 0.5 percent in August after surging 5.1 percent in July, a poll of 75 economists forecast.
The final Reuters/University of Michigan reading of consumer sentiment for September is expected at 9:55 a.m. A Reuters poll of economists showed the gauge is expected to rise to 70.3 from a reading of 65.7 in August.
U.S. new home sales data is due at 10 a.m. EDT. Economists look for sales increasing to an annual rate of 440,000 units in August from 433,000 in July, which was the highest in 10 months.
Following two days of losses, and with the U.S. dollar <.DXY> edging lower and crude oil prices ticking up, the stock market is set to move higher if economic data comes in better than expected, according to Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York.
S&P 500 futures rose 3.1 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 gained 26 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 1.5 points.
Shares of Research In Motion Ltd fell more than 11 percent in premarket trading after the BlackBerry maker reported second-quarter revenue on Thursday that missed estimates and gave a disappointing outlook.
Caterpillar Inc edged up before the bell after Credit Suisse upgraded the shares to outperform and raised its price target to $63 from $40, citing Caterpillar' opportunity to make structural changes to its cost base. The heavy machinery maker was the top drag on the Dow on Thursday.
Unilever NV agreed to pay $1.87 billion for Sara Lee Corp's personal care brands. Sara Lee said it is still looking to sell the rest of its household goods business and will launch a $1 billion share buyback program.
The G20 rich and developing countries, holding a two-day summit in Pittsburgh, will aim to implement new rules by the end of 2012 to improve bank capital and discourage excessive leverage.
The world's central banks said Thursday they would scale back infusions of U.S. dollars into their banking systems.
U.S. stocks fell on Thursday on weak housing data and investor worries that the officials may curb economic stimulus efforts too soon.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)