* University of Michigan consumer sentiment data, leading
indicators on tap
* J.C. Penney dips after earnings
* Kansas City Southern to join S&P 500
* Futures up: Dow 39 pts, S&P 4.4 pts, Nasdaq 5.75 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, May 17 U.S. stock index futures rose
on Friday, indicating the S&P 500 will rebound from its worst
decline in nearly three weeks, keeping the index on track for
its fourth straight weekly advance ahead of data on consumer
* The benchmark S&P index fell 0.5 percent in the prior
session, its biggest decline since May 1, after a Federal
Reserve official said the central bank could begin reducing its
monetary stimulus program this summer.
* The central bank's program of $85 billion a month in bonds
has been a major driver of the rally in equities that has taken
both the Dow and S&P 500 indexes to record highs and sent
both indexes up about 16 percent for the year.
* Data expected on Friday includes the Thomson
Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers preliminary
May consumer sentiment index at 9:55 a.m. (1355 GMT). Economists
in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 78.0 compared with 76.4
in the final April report.
* Shortly after at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT), the Conference Board
is due to release its report on April leading economic
indicators. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a 0.2
percent rise compared with a 0.1 percent drop in March.
* The stimulus measures taken by central banks around the
globe has enabled investors to shrug off more recent economic
data indicating improvement is sluggish in the U.S. economy.
* S&P 500 futures rose 4.4 points and were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 39
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 5.75 points.
* J.C. Penney Co Inc shares dropped 3 percent to
$18.22 in light premarket trade after the retailer reported
another steep quarterly loss on weak sales and heavy clearance
deals and Chief Executive Myron Ullman cautioned he needs time
to fix the issues of the retailer.
* S&P Dow Jones Indices said after the close on Thursday
that S&P MidCap 400 component Kansas City Southern
will replace Dean Foods Co in the S&P 500.
* European shares held near multi-year highs in volatile
trade, with some investors using early weakness as a buying
opportunity and with carmakers cheered by signs of a revival in
* Asian shares were mixed, although some individual Asian
stock markets pushed higher, with mainland Chinese shares up 1.5
percent and Japan's Nikkei share average
advancing 0.7 percent.