Stock futures point to another weak start for U.S. markets on Friday, as investors seek direction from the quarterly earnings of major players in the technology, health care, retail, and banking and finance sectors.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were sharply down 0.51 percent and futures on the S&P 500 were down 0.52 percent while those on the Nasdaq were down 0.53 percent.

Friday's earnings calendar includes heavy-hitters across various industries. Before markets open, The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG), Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY), Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON), Kimberly Clark Corp. (NYSE:KMB), State Street Corp. (NYSE:STT) and Xerox Corp. (NYSE:XRX) are among those scheduled to declare earnings.

In Europe too, stocks were significantly weaker, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index falling 0.92 percent while the FTSE 100 was down 0.55 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was down 0.71 percent while France's CAC-40 was down 0.9 percent.

The overall market weakness could be seen in Asia too where Japan’s Nikkei plunged 1.94 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 finished down 0.42 percent. The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.6 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.25 percent. South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.36 percent and India’s BSE Sensex also fell steeply to end the day down 1.12 percent.