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Futures higher as Street eyes earnings, Fed speakers

New round of volatility could be on way

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply higher open on Friday, as investors digested earnings reports and awaited speeches by two U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers.

Tiffany reported results before the opening bell, that showed 1 percent drop in quarterly sales, hurt by a stronger dollar and weak demand during the holiday shopping season.

Darden Restaurants reported same store sales rose 3.6 percent in the most recent quarter, and boosted its outlook for the full year.

Simon Property made its "best and final offer" to acquire all outstanding shares of operator Macerich for $95.50 a share in cash and Simon shares, an approximate value of $23.2 billion, including assumption of about $6.4 billion of outstanding Macerich debt, a Simon press release said. Earlier this week, the . Macerich shares plunged more than 9 percent in pre-market trade, while Simon shares edged about half a percent lower.

Amazon gained in pre-market trade on news the e-commerce giant received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to test drones in Washington State. The firm could see some headway on the "Prime Air" service it would like to offer.

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Fed officials Charles Evans and Dennis Lockhart will give speeches on Friday, which will be scrutinized for further indications of when the central bank might raise interest rates.

The U.S. dollar edged higher while the euro traded above $1.07.

Investors also eyed developments in the Greece debt talks as the European Union held the second day of its summit in Brussels.

No major economic reports are due on Friday.

Read MoreEarly movers: Tiffany, Darden, Simon & more

In other news, Bank of New York Mellon agreed to pay $714 million to settle allegations of fraudulent foreign exchange practices, it was announced on Thursday.

Reuters contributed to this report.