Stock index futures fell on Friday ahead of the release of fourth-quarter U.S. growth data, with futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq all down by around 0.2 percent by 4:35 a.m. ET.
* U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) figures, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, will be closely watched for evidence of the pace of economic recovery, a day after mixed U.S. data showed strength in the housing sector though unemployment benefit claims rose more than expected.
* Economists expected fourth-quarter GDP numbers to show growth picking up speed by an annual rate of 3.5 percent, though short of the pace needed to lower unemployment significantly.
* Strong corporate earnings led Wall Street to a 29-month closing high for a second day on Thursday, though another run of big gains may be harder to achieve.
* Microsoft Corp
* Shares in Amazon.com
* Among companies to report earnings on Friday include Ford Motor Company
* Thomson Reuters data showed 71 percent of the S&P 500 <.SPX> companies that have reported earnings so far have beaten estimates.
* LinkedIn Corp announced plans to go public this year in what could be a test of investor appetite for social networking websites ahead of a highly anticipated Facebook offering.
* North American smartphone vendors Apple
* Sara Lee Corp
* In the wake of a credit rating downgrade for Japan by Standard & Poor's on Thursday, the International Monetary Fund said Japan and the United States needed to spell out credible deficit-cutting plans before the markets lose patience and dump their bonds.
* U.S. investors seeking higher returns plowed cash into riskier domestic equity and taxable fixed-income mutual funds in the week ended January 26, while municipal bond funds suffered an eleventh week of outflows, data from Lipper showed on Thursday.
* In Europe, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top shares was down 0.3 percent in early trade as heavyweight mining shares slipped.
(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal; Editing by Erica Billingham)