Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 rose 0.2 to 0.3 percent, pointing to a firmer start on Wall Street on Friday.
At 8.30 a.m. ET, Commerce Department releases its final estimate of Q4 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a 5.9 percent annualized rate of growth, a repeat of the preliminary Q4 estimate.
The White House plans to announce on Friday it will require lenders to lower the mortgage payments of some unemployed workers and encourage lenders to eliminate some principal debt of homeowners who owe more than their home is worth, sources familiar with the plan said on Thursday.
Swiss banking giant UBS
China will resume yuan appreciation in the second quarter but will keep its currency on a short leash, allowing a mere 3 percent rise over the next 12 months, according to a Reuters poll.
Commerce Department releases fourth quarter corporate profits at 8.30 a.m. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a 10.0 percent rise versus a 12.7 percent increase in the previous report.
At 9.55 a.m., Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers release final March consumer sentiment index. Economists in a expect a reading of 73.0, compared with 73.6 in the final February report.
Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) releases its weekly index of economic activity for March 19 at 10.30 a.m. In the prior week the index read 130.9.
Shares of Accenture Plc
General Motors Co
Finish Line shares
European shares fell on Friday, after closing at their highest level in nearly 18 months, with banks the major losers, as fears still remained about peripheral economies in Europe. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top shares was down 0.3 percent.
Euro zone leaders agreed on Thursday to create a joint financial safety net with the IMF to help debt-ridden Greece and to try to restore confidence in their common currency after weeks of wrangling.
U.S. stocks ended flat on Thursday, dropping off earlier highs as a weak U.S. bond auction and global debt concerns continued to weigh on investor sentiment.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 5.06 points, or 0.05 percent, to end at 10,841.21. But the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 1.99 points, or 0.17 percent, at 1,165.73. And the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 1.35 points, or 0.06 percent, at 2,397.41.
Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> climbed 1.6 percent to its highest close in 18 months on Friday as recent weakness in the yen buoyed exporters, and helped by investors looking to secure dividends before the financial year end.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Hans Peters)