Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, February 1, 2011. REUTERS

The U.S. stock index futures point to a lower open Friday as investor confidence was weighed down by the fear that the corporate earnings will be affected by the faltering global economic growth momentum.

The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.59 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.61 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.46 percent.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis will report Friday the first estimate of the third quarter GDP, which measures the annualized change in the inflation-adjusted value of all goods and services produced by the economy. The U.S. economy is expected to have expanded 1.9 percent in the third quarter that is up from the 1.3 percent rise of the second quarter.

T he University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment will also be reported Friday. The revised index for October, which rates the relative level of current and future economic conditions, is expected to rise to 83 up from 78.3 in September.

Investors will continue to focus on the corporate earnings to be reported Friday with Arch Coal Inc, Comcast Corporation, Merck & Co Inc and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company are expected to announce their quarterly earnings.

On Thursday, the U.S. markets rose with investor sentiment turning positive as the jobless claims fell more than expected, indicating the revival of the economic growth. According to the data reported Thursday by the Labor Department, the initial jobless claims fell to 369,000 in the week ending Oct. 20, down from 388,000 in the previous week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.20 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.30 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.15 percent.

European markets fell Thursday as the investor sentiment was weighed down by anticipation that the consumer confidence data for France and Germany which would be reported later in the day would confirm the gloomy outlook for household consumption. London's FTSE 100 was down 21.99 points, Germany's DAX 30 index fell 27.12 points and France's CAC 40 declined 52.10 points.

Asian stocks also fell Friday following global cues. India’s SENSEX was down 108.96 points, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 122.14 points and South Korea’s KOSPI Composite Index declined 33.07 points. Meanwhile, Japan’s government announced a stimulus package of 422.6 billion yen ($5.3 billion) as a measure to bolster the economic growth.