Futures Rise Slightly Ahead of G20 Gathering

Stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open for Wall Street as investors turn their attention to a two-day meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 major advanced and developing countries in South Korea which starts on Friday and will address rising tensions over currency depreciation.

Analysts say the gathering, ahead of a meeting of G20 heads of state in November, is unlikely to end the drama in currency markets or resolve the biggest issue on the table - the dispute between the U.S. and China on China's unwillingness to let its currency appreciate.

US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner urged the Group of 20 nations not to weaken their currencies or keep them undervalued. His remarks led to a drop in the dollar on Friday.

Comments made by St Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard on Thursday added to speculation that the Federal Reserve will opt for further monetary easing at its next policy meeting in November.

Bullard said he would back Fed purchases of Treasury securities in $100 billion increments meeting-by-meeting if the US central bank decides monetary easing is necessary.

Another inflow of earnings news helped lift futures off their morning lows, though the market will struggle for any gains at the open.

Verizon , a Dow component, reported quarterly earnings before the bell on Fridaythat beat expectations on both profit and revenue. Shares edged lower in pre-market trading.

Amazon slipped more than 3.5 percent in premarket trading after the company turned in quarterly results Thursday that showed costs were outpacing estimates.

Schlumberger's shares rose after the oilfield services provider reported strong profits and revenues on growth in its onshore U.S. oil and natural gas businesses offset a drop-off in business from the Gulf of Mexico.

Dow component American Express reported quarterly earnings and sales that exceeded Wall Street expectationsafter the close on Thursday.

Ingersoll-Rand's third-quarter profits rose more than expected to 68 cents a share, while revenues were in line with expectations.

Honeywell International's profits also topped expectations on stronger demand for airline and automotive parts, and the diversified manufacturer raised in outlook.

KeyCorp's shares rose in pre-market trading after posting higher-than-expected profits of 20 cents a share, up from a loss 52 cents a share a year earlier. The regional bank, based in Cleveland, Ohio, had fewer bad commercial real estate loans.

Caterpillar's shares were slightly lower after news the maker of construction equipment is buying MWM Holding, a German engine company, from 3i, a private-equity firm, for for 580 million euros, or about $810 million, to expand options for customers of its electric power division.

Shares were lower in Europe as investors waited for the outcome of the G20 finance ministers’ meeting.

New data showing German business sentiment was the strongest in 3-1/2 years in October suggested the recovery of Europe's largest economy may hold up better than expected, but the data failed to lift European stocks.