Futures on major US stock indices point to a higher opening Friday ahead of a wave of economic data including core PCE price index and Chicago PMI.
Futures on the S&P 500 are up 0.44 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.39 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are up 0.44 percent.
Investors are likely to focus on monthly core PCE price index, personal spending and income which are due to be released before the markets open. Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and Chicago PMI will be released after the opening bell.
The Commerce Department will release February personal income and consumption data at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Economists expect a rise of 0.3 percent in February income and a 0.6 percent increase in spending. The core PCE deflator is expected to increase by 0.1 percent in line with the gain in the core CPI.
“The Chicago PMI is expected to be unchanged at a healthy reading of 64.0 and the final university of Michigan consumer sentiment index is expected to track the preliminary estimate of 74.3,” a note from Credit Agricole Research said.
On the corporate front, shares of Research in Motion Ltd. (RIMM) will be in focus. The company swung to fourth quarter net loss of $125 million or $0.24 per share compared to net profit of $934 million or $1.78 per share in the same period a year ago. Revenue was $4.2 billion, down from $5.6 billion in the same period a year earlier and against analysts' estimation of $4.54 billion.
Investors would also weigh in a report by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) that raised serious concerns over the working conditions at the Chinese factories of Foxconn Technology Group, which manufactures Apple products.
According to the report, at least 50 breaches of Chinese regulations have been found. Instances of excessive overtime and problems with overtime compensation were also reported.
European stock markets are currently trading higher with FTSE 100 up by 34.05 points, DAX30 up by 64.04 points and CAC 40 up by 41.58 points.
Most of the Asian stock markets ended lower Friday as weaker-than-expected US jobless claims and industrial production data in Japan hurt investor sentiment.