Stock futures little changed ahead of data

By @ibtimes on

U.S. stock index futures edged up on Friday ahead of key inflation and consumer confidence data that will give investors a chance to reassess some of the volatility of the commodities market.

Recent declines in commodities, including crude oil and silver, have hurt risk appetite and prompted traders to brace for further unwinding of dollar-funded bets on risk assets.

The euro rose against the U.S. dollar, giving support to commodity prices on Friday, after strong growth data in France and Germany bolstered speculation that a healthy euro zone economy would keep interest rates there higher than in the United States.

Three-month copper gained 1.7 percent and both Brent and NYMEX crude oil futures rose near 1 percent, with U.S. light crude hovering around $100 per barrel.

Silver bounced back more than 4 percent after two days of declines. The iShares Silver Trust gained 5.8 percent to $35.24 in premarket trade.

The Labor Department releases its April Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 8:30 a.m. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 0.4 percent rise compared with a 0.5 percent increase in March.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index for May is due at 9:55 a.m. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 70.0 compared with 69.8 in the final April report.

S&P 500 futures rose 1.7 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 18 points and Nasdaq 100 futures were flat.

Nordstrom will be a focus after the retailer forecast 2011 profit below forecasts.

Defensive shares led a rebound in U.S. stocks on Thursday as investors weighed mixed economic signals and volatility in commodities prices.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

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