NYSE April 2013
New York Stock Exchange. Reuters

U.S. stock index futures point to a higher open on Wall Street on Friday, as markets shift focus from the government shutdown and debt-ceiling crisis to quarterly earnings statements from companies such as General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS). Positive economic data from China are also expected to boost investor sentiment on Friday.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.13 percent and futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.12 percent, while those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.44 percent.

Investors are expected to closely watch quarterly earnings reports from companies such as General Electric, Honeywell International, Morgan Stanley, Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI), Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB), SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) and Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT), which are expected to announce their earnings reports before markets open on Friday.

Markets cheered a better-than-expected quarterly earnings report on Thursday, after market hours, from Google Inc.(Nasdaq: GOOG), which topped Wall Street estimates with a profit of $2.97 billion for the quarter ending Sept. 30, up 36 percent from $2.18 billion for the year-ago period as paid clicks increased 26 percent, offsetting an 8 percent decrease in cost-per-click as the search giant struggles to monetize the mobile space.

In Europe, markets traded higher on Friday following upbeat economic growth data from China. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.34 percent, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.24 percent, Germany's DAX-30 was up 0.2 percent and France's CAC-40 was trading up 0.48 percent.

In Asia, most markets traded higher, tracking gains on Wall Street, and after better-than-expected gross domestic product data from China.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rallied 0.73 percent. In China, the Shanghai Composite index ended up 0.24 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped up 1.06 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index added 0.58 percent and India’s BSE Sensex raced to end the day up 2.29 percent. Japan’s Nikkei ended down 0.17 percent.