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Futures Hold Modest Gains; JPMorgan Rises

U.S. stock index futures held small gains Friday, lifted by financials following JPMorgan's earnings report and after official figures showed China’s economy grew in line with economists’ expectations.

JPMorgan Chase gained after the financial giant beat Wall Street expectations, despite the $4.4 billion loss from the "London Whale" trading debacle.

"We don't take it lightly," CEO Jamie Dimon told Wall Street analysts on a conference call. He added: "We're not making light of this error, but we do think it's an isolated event." (Click here for the live coverage.)

Other financials including BofA , Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs got a lift following JPMorgan's results.

Wells Fargo posted higher earningson strong mortgage banking income as borrowers continued to refinance their homes at low rates.

Lexmark plunged after the printer maker cut its second-quarter outlook, citing impact from exchange rates and weak demand in Europe. Barclays lowered its price target on the company to $21 from $24.

On the economic front, producer prices unexpectedly rose 0.1 percent in June despite big drops in energy prices, according to the Labor Department. Analysts polled by Reuters expected the index to drop 0.5 percent.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan July preliminary consumer sentiment index is due at 9:55 am ET time with economists expecting a reading of 73.4, according to a Reuters poll, against 73.2 in the final June report.

China's economy grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter, compared to a year earlier, its slowest pace in three years. While in line with expectations, China's latest report marks the nation's sixth-straight quarter of slowing growth, with the economy headed for its softest full-year growth since 1999.

In Europe, Moody's surprised markets by cutting Italy's credit ratingto two notches above junk status warning it could cut it further, helping to pile pressure on the euro zone's third-largest economy ahead of a 5.25 billion euro ($6.4 billion) bond sale.

But Italian three-year borrowing costs eased at a bond auction on Friday morning, coming in well below 5 percent. The Treasury sold 3.5 billion euros in bonds, at the top of its planned issue range. The Treasury sold 3.5 billion euros in bonds, at the top of its planned issue range.

—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)

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