US stocks were looking to finish a choppy week on a high note Friday as traders looked ahead to a deluge of economic reports and another round of noteworthy corporate earnings results.
Coming off the best month for stocks since 1938, the S&P Futures were up 2 points, the NASDAQ Futures were up 5 points, and the Dow Futures were up 25 points.
The major averages eventually ended Thursday's session mixed after President Barack Obama revealed that Chrysler would file for bankruptcy in remarks at the White House earlier in the day, adding that the company has reached an agreement to form a partnership with Italian automaker Fiat. Auto sales come out Friday.
The manufacturing industry is likely to be in focus on Friday, with the Institute for Supply Management due to release its report on manufacturing activity in the month of April and the Commerce Department due to release its report on March factory orders.
At 9:55 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan releases its reading on consumer sentiment.
Oil company Chevron Corp. (CVX: News ) is scheduled to report its first-quarter results before the market opens on Friday. Although Chevron has a strong position among major oil companies driven by its development pipeline and financial flexibility, the first-quarter earnings are expected to be down considerably due lower oil prices and declining production.
Clorox (CLX), and MasterCard (MA) are also among those due to report before the bell on Friday.
Aluminum producer Alcoa, Inc. (AA: News ) Thursday said it agreed to sell its wire harness and electrical distribution business to Platinum Equity, a California-based private equity group, for an undisclosed amount. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2009.
In an effort to increase tangible common equity, an important criteria in identifying a financial institution's health in the stress tests, Citigroup, Inc. (C), on Friday, said it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its Japanese domestic securities business, Nikko Cordial Securities Inc., to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., or SMBC, for 774.5 billion yen, or about US$7.9 billion.
Asian stocks extended their bog rally from the previous session Friday, while most European markets were closed.
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