U.S. stocks were mixed in early trade on Friday after the eurozone debt crisis came to the limelight again following a credit downgrade for Ireland.
The S&P 500 Index fell 1.67 points, or 0.13 percent, to trade at 1,241.20 at 10 am EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 19.87 points, or 0.17 percent, to trade at 11,479.38. However, the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 5.89 or 0.23 percent to 2,643.13.
Ratings agency Moody's has slashed its credit rating on Ireland by five notches to Baa1 from Aa2 amid worries over banking liabilities and economic prospects.
Shares of InterMune Inc. (ITMN) surged 93 percent to $27.65, after it said the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency has adopted a positive opinion recommending the granting of a marketing authorization for Esbriet in adults to treat mild to moderate idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive and fatal lung disease.
Oracle Corp (ORCL) advanced 5.75 percent to $32.01, after the company reported better-than-expected second quarter earnings. Its second quarter net income rose to $1.87 billion or $0.37 per share, up from $1.46 billion or $0.29 per share in the same period a year ago.
Accenture Plc. (ACN) shares gained 2.89 percent to $48.02 in pre-market trading on Friday after reporting better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on late Thursday. Its first-quarter net profit was $534.7 million or $0.81 per share, compared to $444.8 million or $0.67 per share in the year ago period.
Research In Motion Ltd (RIMM) shares were also up 2.95 percent after the company said on late Thursday that its third quarter net income rose to $911.1 million or $1.74 per share, up from $628.4 million or $1.10 per share in the same period last year. Revenue climbed 40 percent to $5.49 billion on back of strong sales of its BlackBerry smart phones.
On the currency front, the euro declined 0.10 percent to 1.3231 against the dollar, which, however, gained 0.11 percent against the yen.
Crude oil futures advanced 0.13 percent to $91.72 a barrel, while gold futures gained 0.16 percent to 1,373.200 per ounce.
European stock markets were also down with FTSE 100 declining 0.15 percent, DAX30 losing 0.23 percent and CAC 40 falling 0.24 percent.