* Dell shares rise after Q2 profit tops view
* Apple in deal with China Unicom to sell iPhone
* Crude oil futures rise nearly 1 pct
(Updates prices, adds quote, byline)
NEW YORK - U.S. stock futures rose on Friday after a better-than expected quarterly performance from computer maker Dell Inc (DELL.O) boosted the technology sector ahead of key U.S. consumer data.
Shares of Dell, the world's No. 2 personal computer maker behind Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N), rose 3 percent in premarket trading, a day after posting a larger-than-forecast profit. For details, see [ID:nN27317400].
Investors have been betting on a technology rebound, and the Dell results could indicate that they may be right, said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.
If technology is coming back, it would indicate there might be more strength among the consumer than analysts believe.
A clearer picture of the consumer's health may emerge after U.S. personal income and spending data for July is released at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT). The Reuters/University of Michigan final August consumer sentiment index is due at 9:55 a.m. (1355 GMT).
S&P 500 futures SPc1 rose 4.9 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 DJc1 gained 34 points and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc1 added 7 points.
Shares of Apple Inc (AAPL.O) jumped 1 percent before the bell after China Unicom (CHU.N)(0762.HK), China's No. 2 mobile carrier, agreed to sell the iPhone in China, giving Apple access to the world's largest mobile market. [ID:nHKF082431]
Crude oil futures gained nearly 1 percent after data showed the British economy shrank less than expected in the second quarter, following on a smaller-than-forecast drop in U.S. gross domestic product. [ID:nLS658169]
U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday as investors turned back an early selloff, thanks to a rebound in oil prices and an 8.4 percent jump in Boeing Co (BA.N) shares.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI gained 0.4 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX added 0.3 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC rose 0.2 percent.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)