U.S. stock index futures rose modestly on Friday at the end of a week in which an equities rally stalled out after a barrage of mixed corporate earnings and economic data and concerns about Europe left the market little changed.
Investors will focus on fourth-quarter U.S. gross domestic product data, due later Friday morning. GDP is expected to have expanded at a 3.0 percent annual rate in the quarter, according to a Reuters poll.
Ford Motor Co
Procter & Gamble Co
Euro zone finance officials voiced optimism a deal to avert a disorderly Greek default was imminent and key building blocks to resolve Europe's sovereign debt crisis were gradually fitting into place.
We are still definitely in a volatile environment, an environment where there are plenty of global issues that can derail the global economy, said Oliver Pursche, president at Gary Goldberg Financial Services in Suffern, New York.
S&P 500 futures rose 1.8 points but were below 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 were up 16 points, and Nasdaq futures added 6 points.
A rally from late last year that has pushed the S&P 500 up 23 percent from lows in October has left the index facing tough resistance at around the 1,330 level, which marks a four-year downtrend line from its all-time highs in 2007.
According to Thomson Reuters data, 59 percent of 152 S&P 500 companies reporting earnings so far beat analysts' estimates. In recent quarters, the beat rate has been 70 percent at this stage of the earnings season.
Juniper Networks Inc
Cirrus Logic Inc
European stocks ticked higher Friday trade and remained on course for their sixth week of gains. <.EU>
The U.S. Federal Reserve's latest efforts to bolster the recovery with unprecedented policy tools will hurt the U.S. economy in the long run, a former member of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's inner circle suggested Thursday.
A law to be debated in Iran's parliament on Sunday may halt oil exports to the European Union as early as next week, foiling an EU plan to phase in an oil embargo gradually to help its struggling economies adapt, lawmakers said on Friday.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)