In Europe, the financial sector rose after better-than-expected first quarter results from HSBC, Commerzbank and insurer Allianz. Shares of Societe Generale also climbed after the French bank announced a $1.2 billion cost-cutting plan.
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Meanwhile, in Japan, the country's benchmark Nikkei index reached its highest level since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, topping 14,000.The rally was largely fueled by the weakening of the yen, which has lost more than 1 percent since Thursday.
(Read More: May Could Be Month Dollar-Yen Finally Breaks 100)
Among earnings, Discovery Communications posted better-than-expected quarterly results and forecast annual revenue above estimates.
DirecTV rallied after the satellite TV provider blew past Wall Street estimates, helped by better-than-expected growth in Latin America.
Dow component Walt Disney is scheduled to post results after the closing bell. Separately, the conglomerate said it is teaming up with videogames publisher Electronic Arts to develop games based on the "Star Wars" movies.
More than 80 percent of S&P 500 companies have posted quarterly results so far, with 68 percent topping earnings expectations and 22 percent missing forecasts, according to Reuters. If all remaining companies post numbers in line with estimates, earnings will be up 5.1 percent on last year.
But on average, sales have come in 1 percent below estimates, with only 45 percent of companies beating their revenue projections.
On the economic front, the Federal Reserve will release its consumer credit report for March at 3 p.m. New York time. Economists polled by Reuters forecast a $15.0 billion gain, after an $18.4 billion increase in February.
And the Treasury is scheduled to auction $32 billion in 3-year notes with the results available shortly after 1pm ET.