US Markets

US stocks set for long weekend, home sales on tap

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday, extending this week's gains as investors gear up for a long holiday weekend.

Stocks rose modestly on Thursday, extending the prior day's rally sparked by dovish comments from the Federal Reserve which suggested rates could stay lower for longer.

Asian shares hit one-year highs on Friday, but European markets struggled to stay in positive territory after a closely watched indicator of German business confidence came in weaker than expected. The news suggested the euro zone's biggest economy was on course for a slightly weaker quarter. Investors were also cautious ahead of en election in Ukraine this weekend which could rattle investors' nerves.

Back in the U.S., April new home sales numbers are out at 10 a.m.

Hewlett-Packard will be among stocks in focus after it said late on Thursday it planned to cut up to 16,000 more jobs, bringing the total for its restructuring program to as many as 50,000. The company reported earnings that met estimates, though revenue was just slightly below expectations.

In M&A news, General Electric has agreed to extend its bid for the power unit of France's Alstom until June 23 from June 2, while AstraZeneca's largest shareholder Blackrock wants the U.K. drugmaker to resume talks with Pfizer.