Wall Street was set for a modestly higher open on Friday as investors found bright spots in a slew of earnings results, including a smaller-than-expected loss from struggling Ford Motor Co.

Government data showed durable goods orders slipped in March but fell far less than Wall Street expected. Investors are keen for further signs the economic slump may be abating after optimism spurred the recent rally from early March.

Ford Motor Co , mired in the deep auto sector downturn, said it was on track to at least break even in 2011 and did not expect to seek government loans. [ID:nN24400235) Ford shares surged 24.3 percent to $5.58 in premarket trade.

It looks like positive headlines. I know the focus has been on the cash burn rate, which led to the Goldman upgrade earlier in the week, said Robert Finkel at Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets in Baltimore, speaking of Ford.

There was some positive news last night, and coupled with some good results from the variety of other names last night, which had the market lifting, I think what we've seen this morning should only increase lifting the futures.

But the latest earnings reports still showed the pressures of the global economic slump, with diversified manufacturers Honeywell International Inc and 3M Co cutting their full-year profit forecasts.

Shares of 3M were down 1.1 percent at $53.62, while Honeywell was up 2.5 percent at $33.20.

Uncertainty continued to surround the financial sector with a concept paper on stress tests for the 19 biggest U.S. financial institutions to be released at 2 p.m., according to a source familiar with the process.

The paper will describe regulators' evaluation of how the institutions would fare if the economy took an even sharper turn for the worse.

S&P 500 futures added 4 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 were up 22 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 11.75 points.

American Express Co was among the bright spots in one of the busiest weeks for earnings reports after the credit card company's results beat expectations late Thursday as it slashed costs. [ID:nN23358086] American Express rose 9 percent at $22.85 before the opening bell.

Shares of software giant Microsoft Corp were up 4.1 percent at $19.70 after its profit fell but investors cheered efforts to cut costs and news that the release of its Windows 7 operating system is on track.

Oilfield services company Schlumberger Ltd beat analysts' lowered expectations on Friday, sending the stock up 6.7 percent to $49.75 in early electronic trading.

Elsewhere in the auto industry, Chrysler LLC is readying a bankruptcy plan, but still focused on reaching an alliance with Italy's Fiat SpA with the support of the Obama administration, people with knowledge of the discussions said. Chrysler has a week left to clinch the deal.

Data on new home sales for March is expected later in the morning.

Stocks rose in volatile trade Thursday as better-than-expected results from regional banks lifted financial shares. The S&P 500 index is off 2 percent for the week, putting it on track to snap a six-week streak of gains. Since the bear market lows of early March, the index is up nearly 26 percent.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)