Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Friday as a profit miss from Caterpillar and disappointing sales from Microsoft overshadowed strong profits from GE and McDonald's and a new deal to help Greece.
On the plus side, General Electric Co
Overall this earnings season is strong, and GE especially looked good overall, but you can never ignore what Caterpillar says, said Sal Catrini, managing director for equities at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co in New York.
Caterpillar tellingly spoke of an uncertain business environment, which shouldn't be a surprise, but it is weighing on the stock, and on Deere.
Deere & Co
S&P 500 futures fell 1.4 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures dipped 34 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures took off 10.5 points.
Euro zone leaders agreed on a second rescue package for Greece that could trigger a temporary default and would give a financial rescue fund broader powers to try to prevent a spread of market instability.
Worries that euro-zone debt contagion could reach regions where U.S. banks have more exposure have pressured equities in recent weeks.
Verizon Communications Inc
Verizon slipped 0.9 percent to $37.24, while McDonald's gained 2.2 percent to $88.48.
Verizon and McDonald's, along with Caterpillar, GE and Microsoft, are all Dow components.
Equities have also been pressured by the drawn-out wrangling to reach a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. Efforts to raise the ceiling and avoid a U.S. default are in crunch time, with U.S. President Barack Obama and top lawmakers engaged in a sometimes chaotic drive to reach a sweeping deficit-reduction deal.
The Justice Department is looking into allegations a News Corp
Stocks climbed on Thursday as signs of progress on the U.S. debt talks and concrete action from Europe on its own debt crisis heartened investors.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)