Stock index futures rose on Friday, shrugging off a credit rating downgrade of Spain, led by optimism the euro zone will continue to make progress toward a solution to its debt crisis.
French and German officials are trying to put flesh on the bones of a crisis resolution plan in time for a European Union summit on October 23.
Standard and Poor's cut Spain's credit rating on Friday, underlining the challenges facing Europe's finance ministers as they prepare to meet counterparts from the Group of 20 nations over the euro zone debt crisis.
It's this G20 meeting they are having in Paris today and tomorrow, just getting the details of this plan out there and making the details work is the most important thing, said John Canally, investment strategist and economist for LPL Financial in Boston.
The data hasn't mattered for a couple of months. It matters here and there, but most of what today is, is Europe.
The recent rally since the S&P 500 briefly hit bear market territory on an intraday basis on October 4 has pushed the benchmark index near 1,220, a key resistance point it's been unable to cross since early August.
Futures added to gains after U.S. Commerce Department data showed September retail sales rose 1.1 percent from a month earlier, beating the median forecast in a Reuters poll for a 0.7 percent rise. Sales growth during August was revised upward to 0.3 percent.
We continue to want to watch what people spend and do rather than what they say, so consumer sentiment is at 30-year lows, but they are spending like it's 1999. That is just the dichotomy that is going on out there, said Canally.
S&P 500 futures rose 13.3 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 125 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 24.75 points.
The Labor Department said overall import prices increased 0.3 percent, the Labor Department said, after falling 0.2 percent in August. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected prices to drop 0.3 percent last month.
At 9:55 a.m. the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers releases its preliminary October consumer sentiment index. Economists expect the reading to rise to 60.2 from 59.4 in the final September report.
Aside from Google, technology stocks may also get a boost after Germany's SAP
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)