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Future Gain Ahead of Consumer Sentiment

Friday, 17 May 2013 | 8:56 AM ET

U.S. stock market index futures were higher Friday, with major averages looking to log their fourth-straight week higher, ahead of a key reading on consumer sentiment.

Stocks pulled back in the previous session, with the S&P 500 snapping its four-day win streak, amid mounting concerns the Federal Reserve may begin tapering off its bond-buying program.

(Watch Now: What Happens When Fed 'Tapers' Down)

"The balance of rhetoric from Fed speakers suggests Bernanke will at least leave tapering open as a prospect, which will help keep the dollar well supported," wrote Derek Halpenny, the European head of global currency research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.

On the economic front, the University of Michigan will release its consumer confidence survey at 9:55 am ET, the main data point on the calendar. Economists polled by Reuters predicted the preliminary reading for May will come in at 78.0, up on 76.4 last month. Soon after, the conference board will release its latest leading indicators. Analysts in a Reuters poll forecast the index rose 0.2 percent in April, suggesting a modest improvement in economic conditions.

In terms of central bank speakers, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota's speech will be closely watched on Friday, after Thursday's comments by the Fed's John Williams and Charles Plosser suggested they were both open to reducing asset purchases in the near-future.

Among earnings, JCPenney slumped after the retailer reported another sharp loss on disappointing sales.

Dell posted earnings that missed Wall Street expectations, but revenue topped forecasts as strength in its enterprise solutions business offset declining PC sales.

Meanwhile, Kansas City Southern will replace Dean Foods in the S&P 500 after the market close next Thursday.

—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park. Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

Coming Up This Week:

FRIDAY: Consumer sentiment, leading indicators, Chipotle shareholder mtg, Icahn/Transocean shareholder mtg, JCPenney annual mtg

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