Futures inch higher after Asian markets sell-off ends
Investors await economic releases, including consumer sentiment and personal income data, as well as the Chicago-area manufacturing data.
Market fears of an imminent strike in Syria further eased Thursday after the U.K. parliament voted against joining the U.S. in a military strike to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians.
While the U.S. could still act alone, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Obama administration was looking to act within an international coalition.
In other news around the markets:
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed the parliament on Friday, saying that the rupee's recent slide is part of a necessary adjustment. He said that although the currency's loss of value is concerning, it will likely help boost exports in the coming month. He also confirmed that he was not considering the use of capital controls and pledged to contain the fiscal deficit at 4.8% in 2014.
In a phone conference on Friday, China's foreign minister said there should be no UN security council until the chemical probe in Syria was complete.
Amid growing worries about its exposure to banks, General Electric (GE) has begun the proceedings to divest its consumer-finance business. The Wall Street Journal reported that people close to the matter have said the conglomerate is planning to spin off the business later in the year.
Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ) has acknowledged Thursday that last week's three hour market outage was due to issues with its software. The company admitted fault in a detailed summary of the exchange's preliminary findings. According to the findings, Nasdaq's system couldn't handle a series of of attempts to connect by NYSE Euronext's (NYX) Arca exchange.
After a month long sell-off, Asian markets were mostly positive on Friday. The South Korean KOSPI was up 0.99%, and the Australian ASX 200 gained 0.84%. The Shanghai composite had limited gains with only a 0.05% increase, and the Shenzhen composite was down 0.93%. The Japanese NIKKEI index also fell, losing 0.53%.
European markets were quiet as investors remained cautious. The FTSE was up 0.08% and the STOXX 600 gained just 0.04%. The Spanish IBEX fell 0.53% and the Italian MIB was also down 0.32%.
Energy futures continued their decline on Friday. Brent futures were down 0.36% and WTI futures fell 0.93%. Gold slipped 0.46% and silver lost 1.53%. Copper fared better with a 0.31% gain, but aluminum lost 1.58%.
The euro to dollar ratio was little changed at $1.3235, but the yen gained 0.39% against the greenback. The pound saw minimal gains against the dollar, and the rupee lost ground against the dollar, falling 0.14%.
Earnings reported Thursday
Notable companies that reported earnings on Thursday included:
Salesforce.com (CRM) reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.09 on revenue of $957.00 million, beating estimates of EPS of $0.07 on $938.81 million.
Campbell Soup (CPB) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.45 on revenue of $1.72 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.41 on revenue of $1.62 billion.
Toronto Dominion Bank (TD) reported third quarter EPS of $1.05 on revenue of $6.00 billion, below estimates of EPS of $1.71 on revenue of $6.31 billion.
Stocks moving in the premarket included:
Salesforce.com (CRM) gained 7.90% in premarket trade after the company's second quarter results came in above Wall Street's expectations.
Citigroup (C) lost 1.24% in premarket trade after the company agreed to undergo an audit of its online credit card account system when it was discovered that hackers were able to access several accounts.
Notable companies expected to report earnings on Friday include:
Frontline (FRO) is expected to report a second quarter loss of $0.50 per share on revenue of 47.64 million, compared to last year's loss of $0.21 per share on revenue of $488.51 million.
Friday's economic calendar is a busy one, with the U.S. set to release consumer sentiment and personal income data, and Canada and India putting out GDP data. From Europe, there will be eurozone business climate, consumer confidence, unemployment and CPI data, Spanish current account data, Italian unemployment data and German retail sales data.
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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