US STOCKS-Futures jump on Fed speculation, results
* GE climbs in premarket after quarterly results
* Housing starts, UMich data on tap
* Futures up: Dow 156 pts, S&P 21.75 pts, Nasdaq 50.75 pts (Updates prices, adds premarket actives)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Oct 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures jumped on Friday following a batch of solid earnings reports and 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.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is due to speak at 8:30 a.m (1230 GMT) at a conference on income inequality.
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. Continuación...