US STOCKS-Futures gain on Fed speculation; data on tap
* 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). Continuación...