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* House clears latest $500 billion relief bill
* Intel falls on dismal forecast
* AmEx builds up reserves to cover potential loan defaults
* Futures: Dow 0.65%, S&P 0.57%, Nasdaq 0.42% (Adds comments, details; update prices)
By C Nivedita and Shreyashi Sanyal
April 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures gained on Friday with bargain hunters returning at the end of a tumultuous week marked by a record collapse in oil prices, a mixed bag of quarterly earnings and growing fears of a severe economic slump.
After jumping as much as 1.6% on Thursday, the S&P 500 finished the session slightly lower as a report raised doubts about a potential treatment for COVID-19 and data confirming a near halt in business activity.
Early sentiment on Friday was also supported by the latest $500 billion relief package that cleared the U.S. House of Representatives the previous day. The bill is now with President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it into law.
The benchmark index is still 17% below its record highs despite gaining ground this month on trillions of dollars in stimulus and hopes of a relaxation in state-wide lockdowns as the number of coronavirus cases showed signs of peaking.
“On balance this is a market that is looking towards more COVID-19 news than economic data and earnings,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
“As the United States gets close to reaching levels of plateauing like China, South Korea and some parts of Europe, people are looking towards the potential re-opening of business later this year.”
With the outbreak wiping out all the U.S. jobs created since the global financial crisis, investors are now tracking comments from Corporate America for signs of a revival in production as some states start easing the lockdowns.
Denting those expectations, a report said Boeing Co was planning to slash 787 Dreamliner output by about half and announce job cuts in its first-quarter earnings report next week.
The CBOE volatility index has retreated from 12-year peaks hit last month, but remains well above levels seen in the past two years.
At 08:06 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 151 points, or 0.65%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 15.75 points, or 0.57% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 35.75 points, or 0.42%.
Overall, analysts expect a 14.1% decline in S&P 500 first-quarter earnings, with profits for the energy sector estimated to slump nearly 60% as a crash in oil prices raises fears of debt defaults, layoffs and possible bankruptcies.
Intel Corp fell 5.1% in premarket trading after the chipmaker forecast second-quarter earnings below expectations and said it could not issue a forecast for the full year.
Verizon Communications Inc inched lower as it lost 68,000 phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill in the first quarter.
American Express Co posted a 76% drop in first-quarter profit as the credit card issuer braced for potential losses stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. Its shares rose 2.1% in thin premarket trading. (Reporting by C Nivedita and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)