US stocks rose modestly higher on Friday, with S&P 500 Index up 2.52 points, or 0.19 percent, to trade at 1,342.98 at 12:00 p.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 42.16 points, or 0.34 percent, to trade at 12,360.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.23 percent to trade at 2,837.98.
Investors are keenly tracking the G-20 meeting in Paris, where finance ministers and central bankers are expected to comment and address on economic imbalances between nations.
The sentiment is also likely to be weighed by China's move to raise its reserve requirement ratio for banks by 50 basis points.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday that the maintenance of undervalued currencies by some countries has contributed to a pattern of global spending that is unbalanced and unsustainable
To achieve a more balanced international system over time, countries with excessive and unsustainable trade surpluses will need to allow their exchange rates to better reflect market fundamentals and increase their efforts to substitute domestic demand for exports, Bernanke said.
Markets that will remain closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday are also cautious about latest developments in the Middle East where wave of protests have taken a violent turn, inspired by the ouster of autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia.
On the corprate front, Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE:CPB) fell 5 percent to $33.21 after the company slashed its fiscal 2011 earnings forecast to $2.40 to $2.45 per share from $2.52 to $2.57 per share.
Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: BRCD) jumped 9.6 percent to $6.60 after the company reported better than expected quarterly profit on Thursday.
On the currency front, the euro strengthened 0.40 percent to 1.3665 against the dollar while the greenback lost 0.06 percent against the yen to 83.2590.
Crude oil futures rose 0.33 percent to $102.93/barrel while gold futures gained 0.40 percent.
European stock markets are currently trading mixed with U.K. FTSE 100 down by 15.66 points, German DAX30 up by 11.85 points and French CAC 40 edging up by 0.61 points.