After upbeat performances for most of the week, stocks are set to open slightly lower as sentiment is dampened by disappointing corporate earnings, with some exceptions, and markets eye the release of two key economic data points.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.03 percent while futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.1 percent, and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.3 percent.
After a flurry of earnings announcements through the week, companies that would mainly be watched on Friday include The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) and United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS), both of which are scheduled to release earnings statements before market hours.
Investors will also look to September’s durable goods orders, which will be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT and the consensus is for a 2.5 percent month-on-month jump compared to a 0.1 percent uptick in the previous month, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index too is due on Friday -- at 9:55 a.m. EDT -- and consensus estimates show sentiment to have dipped to 74.8 in October from 75.2 in the previous reading.
In Europe, disappointing earnings and dismal Ifo readings out of Germany weighed on markets even as the UK reported its fastest growth in more than three years in the third quarter.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.14 percent and London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.06 percent. Germany's DAX-30 was down 0.04 percent and France's CAC-40 was trading down 0.3 percent.
In Asia too, earnings played a role in influencing markets. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.6 percent after Samsung (KRX:005935) reported record-high third-quarter profits while LG Electronics (KRX:066570) reported a 34 percent drop in net profits in the same period.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.6 percent, the Shanghai Composite fell 1.45 percent and India’s benchmark BSE Sensex ended the day down 0.2 percent while Australia's ASX-200 edged up 0.25 percent.
In Japan, the recent appreciation of the yen and a fall in index heavyweight, Softbank (TYO:9984), dragged the Nikkei down 2.75 percent to its biggest percentage loss since early August, MarketWatch reported.