US Stock Futures Suggest Subdued Start After Thursday’s Performance; Unemployment, Trade Data To Influence Market Direction

NYSE_Wall Street
Traders stand outside the New York Stock Exchange prior to the opening bell on Oct. 31, 2012.

U.S. stock markets could begin on a more circumspect note Friday, following the previous session, which saw the S&P 500 climb to a new high despite the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.03 percent and futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.04 percent while those on the Nasdaq were down 0.03 percent. On Thursday, the Dow gained 0.38 percent and the S&P 500 edged up 0.17 percent while the Nasdaq slipped 0.13 percent.

On the earnings front, Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE:FL) is among those scheduled to announce quarterly earnings before markets open. On the data front, unemployment numbers for February and trade data for January will be released at 8:30 a.m. EST.

In Europe, markets were down yet again and on track to post a weekly loss. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was trading down 0.48 percent and the FTSE 100 was down 0.38 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 fell 0.93 percent and France's CAC-40 was down 0.37 percent.

In Asia, markets were mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei-225 climbing 0.92 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ending up 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.19 percent while the Shanghai Composite was down 0.08 percent. South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.05 percent while India’s BSE Sensex rallied 1.89 percent.

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