NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures edged higher Friday amid rising sentiment that the Federal Reserve will avoid tapering its $85 billion a month bond-buying stimulus program at least through the end of this year amid due to concerns about the economic impact of the prolonged U.S. fiscal deadlock and the pending the release of a spate of delayed economic data.
China's third-quarter gross domestic product accelerated to 7.8%, in line with market expectations, though optimism about the country's growth outlook was tempered as monthly activity data appeared to have softened across the board.
The market was also being buoyed by strength in shares of heavyweights such as Google GOOG and General Electric GE.
Futures for the S&P 500 were rising 5.5 points, or 5.7 points above fair value, to 1,733.25 after the index managed to finish at a new all-time high of 1,733.15 during the prior session. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were adding on 35 points, or 25.35 points above fair value, to 15,331. Futures for the Nasdaq were gaining 19.8 points, or 27.47 points above fair value, to 3,320.8.
Google shares were jumping more than 9% to $971.44 Thursday after the online search giant posted earnings that beat expectations. Google reported earnings of $10.74 a share on revenue of $11.93 billion, excluding traffic acquisition costs. With TAC, revenue was $14.9 billion. Analysts expected Google to earn $10.34 a share on revenue, including TAC, of $14.79 billion. "Google had another strong quarter with $14.9 billion in revenue and great product progress," said Larry Page, CEO of Google. "We are closing in on our goal of a beautiful, simple, and intuitive experience regardless of your device."
General Electric was popping 2.67% to $25.34 after the Fairfield, Conn., conglomerate on Friday reported an 11% industrial profit growth year-over-year, while industrial revenues were up 3%. Third-quarter operating earnings came in at $3.699 billion, or 36 cents a share, compared to $3.685 billion, or 36 cents a share, in the second quarter, and $3.798 billion, or 36 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2012. The third-quarter operating profit beat the consensus estimate of 35 cents, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.