Futures on major U.S. indices point to a lower opening on Friday with futures on the S&P 500 losing 3.70 points to 1,194.00, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 31.00 points to 11,145.00 and Nasdaq100 futures down 5.00 points to 2,129.25.
Markets are cautious over developments regarding debt crisis in Ireland and China's move to curb inflation. The People's Bank of China said it will raise reserve ratio by 0.5 percentage points from November 29.
The focus is also likely to be on prepared speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who has defended the latest $600 billion stimulus plan and remarks over currency undervaluation.
“The committee believes that the best way to continue to deliver the strong economic fundamentals that underpin the value of the dollar, as well as to support the global recovery, is through policies that lead to a resumption of robust growth in the context of price stability in the United States,” Bernanke said in a speech to be given at a European Central Bank conference in Frankfurt conference on Friday.
Currency undervaluation inhibits necessary macroeconomic adjustments.......large and persistent imbalances in current accounts represent a growing financial and economic risk, Bernanke said.
On Thursday, stocks surged, buoyed by the successful huge initial public offering of General Motors, reports that the Republic of Ireland will receive a bailout to solve its troubled banking system and better-than-expected manufacturing activity data.
Shares of GM closed at $34.19 after opening at about $35 per share, $2 above the offering price.
Dell surged 5.4 percent to $14.40 in after hours trading after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings. Salesforce.com Inc. soared 10.4 percent after it issued an upbeat fourth quarter revenue forecast. Shares of Intuit Inc. fell nearly 4 percent after its second quarter earnings guidance missed expectations.
Shares of Pfizer fell 2.4 percent to $16.42 in after hours trading, after the company and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said they have halted a late-stage study of their experimental blood-thinner apixaban because of safety concerns.
On the currency front, the euro strengthened 0.61 percent to 1.3726 against the dollar, while the greenback weakened 0.35 percent to 83.2280 against the yen.
Crude oil futures gained 0.88 percent to $85.8/barrel and gold futures rose 0.50 percent.
European stock markets are currently trading down with U.K. FTSE 100 down by 48.13 points, German DAX30 edged down 2.08 points and French CAC 40 down by 6.10 points.