* GE climbs in premarket after quarterly results
* Housing starts, UMich data on tap
* Futures up: Dow 157 pts, S&P 22.25 pts, Nasdaq 49.75 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Oct 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track to trim its decline for the week, on hopes the Federal Reserve might slow the wind-down of its stimulus in light of recent weakness in global demand.
* The S&P 500 and Nasdaq eked out slight gains on Thursday after another choppy session as economic data eased fears about the potential effect of a weakening global economy on the United States and following remarks by St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard that the U.S. central bank may want to keep up its bond buying stimulus for now.
* The central bank had been widely expected to end its massive monthly bond-buying program this month.
* The benchmark S&P index is on track for its fourth straight weekly decline, its longest streak in over two years, and is down more than 7 percent from its record high as concerns about the health of the global economy and possible spread of the Ebola virus have prompted investor selling.
* Economic data expected on Friday includes housing starts for September at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT) and the preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan reading on consumer sentiment at 9:55 a.m. (1355 GMT).
* Investors will look to corporate earnings to offset concerns about a slowdown in the global economy. General Electric shares rose 3.3 percent to $25.05 in premarket trade after the company reported third-quarter earnings that topped analyst expectations.
* Morgan Stanley rose advanced 2.8 percent to $33.45 after posting its quarterly results.
* Honeywell shares slipped 0.1 percent to $86.30 before the opening bell after the maker of aircraft cockpit parts and other electronic equipment reported its quarterly results.
* Urban Outfitters shares slumped 14.1 percent to $29.70 after the retailer said its negative third-quarter comparable sales pace has continued.
* The earnings of S&P 500 companies are expected to grow 6.9 percent in the third quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data through Thursday, on revenue growth of 4.1 percent.
* European stocks rose after the week’s sharp drop, as positive U.S. macro data soothed worries over the global economy, but Asian stocks were unable to hold early gains and lost ground.
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 22.25 points, or 1.2 percent, with 280,196 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were gaining 49.75 points, or 1.33 percent, in volume of 47,065 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were up 157 points, or 0.98 percent, with 41,536 contracts changing hands. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)