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US stocks set to rise ahead of key EU summit

By Reuters

U.S. stock index futures edged higher Friday ahead of a much anticipated European Union weekend summit on the region's debt crisis and as results from General Electric Co did little to undermine hopes for a robust earnings season.

GE's third-quarter earnings rose 18 percent, meeting Wall Street's estimate, with profit up at its jet engine, healthcare equipment and railroad locomotive units, as well as the hefty GE Capital finance arm. The shares were flat at $16.63.

France and Germany said in a joint statement that European leaders would discuss a solution to the crisis Sunday, but no decisions would be adopted before a second meeting to be held by Wednesday at the latest.

"Our perspective is that as time progresses the markets are going to realize there is not going to be a quick resolution to Europe, and these 17 member states of the euro zone are going to make incremental progress," said Oliver Pursche, president at Gary Goldberg Financial Services in Suffern, New York.