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Dow futures up 100 points; Street eyes Fed speakers

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U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Friday morning as traders eyed the comments of Federal Reserve officials.

New York Fed President William Dudley said a cautious, gradual approach to rate hikes is appropriate. He noted lingering external risks to the U.S. economy, despite some strength and signs of inflation domestically.

The U.S. dollar index turned to trade a touch lower, with the euro near $1.138. The yen came off recent highs against the greenback, trading near 108.7 yen as of 9:07 a.m. ET.

Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures were up about half a percent or more in early trade, while the Russell 2000 futures outperformed slightly.

On Thursday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen touted the strength of the U.S. economy, rebuffing political rhetoric suggesting a bubble is ready to burst.

"I certainly wouldn't describe this as a bubble economy," Yellen said, noting a "healing" labor market and a 5 percent headline unemployment number.

Yellen's comments came during a panel with former Fed Chairs Ben Bernanke, Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan at the International House in New York.

Her remarks helped support a more risk-on sentiment. Treasury yields edged higher and gold traded mildly lower.

Oil traded sharply higher, with WTI up more than 5 percent above $39 a barrel as of 9:07 a.m. ET.

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In Asia, Japan's Nikkei closed up 0.46 percent, while the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.75 percent lower. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 Index was up more than 1 percent on Friday morning.

Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan is also due to speak on the political economy of Texas and Mexico at 9:30 a.m.

On the data front, wholesale trade is due at 10:00 a.m.

CNBC's Patti Domm and Jacob Pramuk, and Reuters contributed to this report