* Housing starts, UMich data on tap
* Morgan Stanley, GE higher after results
* Intel falls after results, outlook
* Futures up: Dow 43 pts, S&P 4.2 pts, Nasdaq 7.75 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Jan 17 U.S. stock index futures advanced on Friday, in the wake of earnings from Morgan Stanley and General Electric, and ahead of data on the housing market and consumer sentiment.
* General Electric Co slipped 1.1 pct to $26.89 in premarket trading, after gaining 0.6 percent earlier. The conglomerate posted a rise in quarterly net profit on Friday, helped by strength in its businesses selling oil pumps and jet engines.
* Morgan Stanley rose 1.9 percent to $32.61 before the opening bell even as it reported a slump in quarterly profit.
* Shares of Intel Corp shed 3.6 percent to $25.58 after its earnings missed expectations by a penny in the fourth quarter due to weak spending on servers. The chipmaker gave a lukewarm forecast for first-quarter revenue.
* After surging 30 percent in 2013, the S&P 500 started the year on a weak note but recovered recently to set a new record high Wednesday. It is now roughly flat for the year.
* S&P 500 futures rose 4.3 points Friday 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 43 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 7.75 points.
* Investors will eye December housing starts data at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT). Expectations were for an annualized figure of 990,000, slightly lower than 1.09 million reported in the prior month.
* Industrial output data for December is expected at 9:15 a.m. (1415 GMT). Expectations call for a 0.3 percent increase versus a 1.1 percent gain in the prior month.
* At 9:55 a.m. the preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers for January is due. Estimates call for a reading of 83.5, up from the 82.5 previously reported.
* European shares edged up to fresh 5-1/2 year highs, with stronger-than-expected UK retail sales reassuring investors about the strength of the region's economy and counterbalancing a profit warning by Shell.
* Asian stocks clawed their way off session lows, as some investors wagered that upcoming U.S. data will paint an optimistic picture of the world's largest economy.