The U.S. stock index futures point to a slightly higher open Friday ahead of the personal income and spending data for October to be released by the Commerce Department.
The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.07 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.11 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.06 percent.
Investors are likely to focus on the monthly core PCE price index, personal spending and income which are due to be released before the markets open. The Commerce Department will release the October personal income and consumption data at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
Economists expect a 0.2 percent increase in both income and spending in October after they gained 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent respectively in the previous month. The core PCE deflator is expected to increase 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the Chicago purchasing managers' index for November will be released after the opening bell. Economists expect a reading of 50.5 in November, up from 49.9 in October.
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The U.S. stock markets ended with gains Thursday as sentiment was supported by broadly positive economic reports and other mixed comments on the fiscal cliff. Markets pared earlier gains after Republican House Speaker Boehner said that “no substantive progress” had been made in the past two weeks on the fiscal talks. This was followed by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lashing out that his party was still awaiting a logical plan from the Republicans.
On the economic front, reports on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), pending home sales and initial jobless claims came in better-than-expected. The Labor Department said that Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 23,000 last week to seasonally adjusted 393,000 in the week ending Nov. 24, better than the analysts’ estimate of 395,000 claims.
According to the report released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis Thursday, the second estimate of the third quarter GDP showed that the economy expanded 2.7 percent in that period, an upward revision from the 2.0 percent gain the department initially reported last month.
European stock markets were trading mixed with the FTSE 100 down by 8.89 points, the DAX30 up by 5.99 points and the CAC 40 up by 0.51 points.
Asian stock markets advanced Friday after data showed that Japanese industrial production unexpectedly increased and its government approved further stimulus measures. Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.0.48 percent, India’s BSE Sensex advanced 0.59 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.49 percent while Chinese Shanghai Composite rose 0.85 percent.
Official data showed that Japanese industrial output gained 1.8 percent in October (for the first time in four months), contrary to the manufacturers' projection of a 1.5 percent decline.