Stock index futures on Friday signaled a bounce-back after recent losses, while investor worries about weakening consumer spending and credit market losses could limit gains.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks saw their sixth drop in seven sessions on worry that credit losses from mortgage defaults and slumping home prices would grow worse.
Volatility could be high, analysts said.
It is Friday and it is options expiration. There could be a relief rally going into the weekend, said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial Group in Princeton, New Jersey.
But, he said, the biggest concern right now is the mounting uncertainty about what skeletons remain in the credit markets' closet.
Leveraged investors like banks and hedge funds could find they must scale back lending by as much as $2 trillion due to the U.S. mortgage market crisis, Goldman Sachs said in a report.
Shares of Hewlett-Packard Co could rise after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock.
Fannie Mae said it will hold a conference call on Friday to answer accounting questions after Fortune magazine said the mortgage finance company may be camouflaging credit losses.
S&P 500 futures rose 5.30 points and were above fair value, a formula to evaluate pricing taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract.
Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 39 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 8 points.
Starbucks late on Thursday said for the first quarter in its history the number of visits to its established U.S. stores fell. The coffee store chain forecast 2008 earnings below many Wall Street estimates. Shares in Starbucks fell nearly 9 percent after the news.
Shares of retailer Kohl's Corp fell 2.9 percent to $47.49 in after-hours trading on Thursday after the retailer cut its forecast for fourth-quarter earnings on expectations of flat or even declining sales.
On the economic agenda, the Federal Reserve releases industrial production and capacity utilization data for October at 9:15 a.m. EST. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 0.1 percent rise in production and a reading of 82.0 percent for capacity utilization.
(Editing by Kenneth Barry)