The U.S. stock index futures point to a mixed open Friday as investors maintained a watchful mode awaiting monetary easing measures from policymakers around the world to tackle the weakening of the global economic growth.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.05 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 index were down 0.08 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 index were up 0.13 percent.
Investors feel that bold measures, including easing of the monetary policy, are urgently needed to boost liquidity in the global financial system. At a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa Thursday, German Chancellor Angela said that she supported ECB President Mario Draghi's pledge last month to do "whatever it takes" to save the euro.
The University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters will publish its Consumer Sentiment Index, evaluating the relative level of current and future economic conditions based on consumer confidence, which is derived from at least 500 telephone interviews conducted each month in the United States. It is expected to rise to 72.4 in August, up from 72.3 in July.
The Conference Board will publish Friday its Leading Index, which is a composite index based on 10 economic indicators that is designed to predict the future direction of the economy. It is expected to rise 0.2 percent in July up from 0.3 percent fall in June.
On Thursday, the U.S. stocks rose as investor confidence was lifted by encouraging indications that the economy was regaining momentum. According to the Labor Department's report, initial jobless claims rose to 366,000 in the week ended August 11 up from 364,000 in the previous week. According to the Census Bureau's report, building permits rose to 812,000 in July, up from 760,000 in May.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.65 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.71 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.04 percent.
Major European indices were in the green as investors were encouraged after German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed her country's commitment to support measures to boost the euro zone economy. London's FTSE 100 was up 13.96 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index rose 9.06 points and France's CAC 40 advanced 9.47 points.
Asian stocks also rose as investor sentiment turned positive amid hopes that Germany would step up measures to alleviate the debt burden faced by the euro zone.