(REUTERS) -- Stocks were poised for a higher open, putting the S&P 500 on track to snap a 2-day drop, after better-than-expected results from Microsoft and General Electric Co. propelled what has been a solid earnings season to date.
GE rose 1.2 percent to $19.36 in premarket trading after the largest conglomerate's first-quarter profit topped estimates, helped by strong sales of jet engines and energy equipment and profit growth at its finance arm.
Microsoft Corp. gained 3.3 percent to $32.04 premarket as the maker of the Windows operating system posted profit that beat expectations late Thursday as personal computer sales held up better than expected.
Everyone is taking a peek at GE, Microsoft and even McDonald's earnings a little bit. Everything is coming in strong, so barring any fears of what is going to happen in Europe, we could probably see a strong day today, said Michael Gault, senior portfolio strategist at WeiserMazars Wealth Advisory in New York.
We are seeing this constant struggle, and we are at the same point as the last two years come the spring, where you see earnings continue to be positive, but some of the macroeconomic pressures really fighting back what corporate earnings are doing and indicating in terms of the status of the recovery.
GE's numbers especially because it is a bellwether for the industrials and it's global. They beat on revenues, which they haven't really been able to do in a long time, and that really bodes well for industrials in particular.
Industrial conglomerate Honeywell International Inc reported higher quarterly results and raised its earnings forecast for the full year. The stock was up 3.4 pct to $72.20 premarket.
McDonald's Corp. climbed 2 percent to $97.22 premarket after the world's biggest fast-food chain reported higher quarterly profit, paced by strong U.S. sales.
Of the 105 S&P 500 components reporting through Thursday, 81.9 percent beat analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data.
S&P 500 futures rose 6.3 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 49 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 10 points.
Kimberly-Clark Corp. posted higher quarterly profit as the maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers trimmed costs to deal with weakness. Shares gained 2 percent to $76.75 in light premarket trade.
Air conditioner maker Ingersoll Rand Plc posted profit topped the Wall Street view early Friday and forecast full-year profit within Wall Street estimates. Still, shares fell 1.5 percent to $39.55 premarket as it forecast a soft U.S. housing market.
Oilfield services company Schlumberger NV's profit rose on improved deepwater activity and global exploration in several regions. Shares climbed 3.4 percent to $72.15 in premarket.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. rose 2.3 percent to $8.15 premarket as the chipmaker forecast revenue above expectations late Thursday in another sign that PC demand was holding up better than anticipated.
Healthcare group Johnson & Johnson, which secured European Union clearance Thursday to purchase Swiss medical device maker Synthes Inc for about $21 billion, expects to close the deal in the current quarter.
(Reporting By Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)