Futures Climb After Google, Retail Sales Data

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures inched up further after the U.S. reported a jump in retail sales and Google ( GOOG) topped earnings estimates.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average added about 30 points to their earlier gains, last climbing 100 points, or 77 points above fair value, at 11,415. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 12 points, or 10 points above fair value, at 1210, and Nasdaq futures were up 20 points, or 23 points above fair value, at 2346.

U.S. retail sales rose 1.1% in September, significantly stronger than the consensus call for a 0.7% increase. Sales rose only by 0.3% in August. The recent boost came from a spike in auto sales. Excluding car purchases, sales increased 0.6%.

Later, at 9:55 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index is expected to tick up to a reading of 60 for October, although the mood remains downbeat given that economic outlooks both abroad and in the U.S. remain uncertain.

"I think we've seen the extent of the selling," said Bruce Zaro, technical strategist with Delta Global, noting that the economy was moving into a seasonally favorable period. "The market is somewhat still on pins and needles and there may be some profit-taking later in the day heading into the weekend."

Factors abroad continue to play a key role in setting the tone in the U.S. market. Discussions about stabilizing the eurozone are expected to ramp up as policy makers from the Group of 20 convene in Paris on Friday. Euro officials will also hold a summit on the debt crisis on Oct. 23. Downgrades of Spain's long-term debt by Standard & Poor's and UBS by Fitch Ratings have underscored the ongoing risk for surprises stemming from Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

Overnight, China reported that inflation eased but remained above 6% for four straight months. Singapore eased its monetary policy, sparking fresh worries that slowing growth in the West may be hurting Asian economies.

London's FTSE was gaining 1.4%, while Germany's DAX was up 1.1%. Japan's Nikkei Average finished down 0.85%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.36%.

The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq have all rebounded by more than 10% from their intraday lows set on Oct. 4. The S&P 500 volatility index, the VIX, pulled back to around 30, suggesting that market nervousness has eased.

However, recent rallying momentum has weakened significantly, with stocks posting mixed finishes on light volume in the prior two days. Bullish investors are hoping that corporate earnings can led the market higher.

So far, companies have showed mixed results. Earnings from JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) were lackluster, for instance, while Google ( GOOG), which reported after the bell Thursday, crushed Wall Street's estimates by 95 cents a share. The Internet giant was jumping almost 7% in premarket trading.

Toy company Mattel ( MAT) reported third-quarter profit of 86 cents a share, in line with estimates. The company also said it will increase its previously announced share buyback program by $500 million. Shares were up 0.8% to $28.

Retailer Gap ( GPS) plans to close 189 stores in North America by the end of 2013 and expand in China.

Activist investor Carl Icahn took a new 10% stake in engine maker Navistar ( NAV). Shares jumped more than 9% before the bell.

The dollar index, a measure of the dollar's value against a basket of currencies, was slipping 0.17%.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was last losing 9/32, pushing the yield to 2.217%.

Gold for December delivery was slipping $7.40 to trade at $1,675.90 an ounce. In other commodities, the November crude oil contract was edging up $1.05 to trade at $85.28 a barrel.

-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.

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