U.S. stock futures point to a higher opening Friday on hopes that European leaders will come out with a grand plan to fight the region's debt crisis.
Futures on the S&P 500 Index gained 0.31 per cent at 6:15 a.m. ET while futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq 100 rose 0.26 per cent and 0.36 per cent respectively.
France and Germany said in a joint statement Thursday that European leaders would discuss a global solution to the crisis Sunday. However, no decisions would be adopted before a second meeting to be held by Wednesday at the latest, Reuters reported.
Going into this weekend's Eurozone summit, hopes are riding high.
Just as we did too many times in 2008, we are about to enter into a weekend where all eyes are on government officials and their attempt to deal with a major financial problem, said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak.
On the corporate front, shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) will be in focus as the company reported its fiscal first-quarter earnings after the closing bell Thursday. Its first quarter net income rose to $5.74 billion or $0.68 per share from $5.41 billion or $0.62 per share in the same period last year.
Altera Corp. (NASDAQ:ALTR) reported third quarter net income of $185.4 million or $0.57 per share after the closing bell Thursday. Analysts expected the company to report third quarter net income of $0.59 per share.
On the earnings front, General Electric, Verizon Communications, Suntrust Banks, Honeywell International and Air Products & Chemicals will report their quarterly earnings before the opening bell.
U.S. stocks ended higher Thursday after recovered from earlier losses on positive headlines out of Europe.
The euro declined 0.02 percent to 1.3777 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.14 percent against the greenback.
European stock markets are currently trading higher, with the FTSE100 up by 32.42 points, the DAX30 up by 23.81 points and the CAC 40 up by 12.87 points.