Stock Futures Point to Higher Open


Stock futures pointed to a small rebound for Wall Street at Friday's open, but all indexes were set to lose for the week amid continual speculation about whether strong recent data and a budget deal will push the Federal Reserve to taper next week.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average index rose 24 points or 0.2%, to 15,706, while those for the S&P 500 index rose 4.5 points, or 0.3% to 1,773. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index rose 8.75 points, or 0.3%, to 3,463.75.

The data calendar was light for Friday, with only producer prices for November due for release at 8:30 a.m. EST.

The House Thursday passed a budget bill geared at avoiding a government shutdown and ease spending limits in the next two years. Approval is expected to pass the Senate next week. It is one factor that has driven investors to the view that the Fed could be ready to pare back on its bond-buying program at next week's meeting.

Strong economic signals are also a factor in the view the Fed could taper early, with Thursday's upbeat retail sales data contributing to a third straight drop for major indexes. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed below 4,000 for the first time since Nov. 25. All indexes are looking at weekly declines of more than 1.5%.

"Arguably with limited fundamental data on the list for today the chances are we're going to be left with a lackluster end to the week's trade. U.S. treasury yields are now trending higher suggesting more support that we'll see the tapering get under way next week so any further clues here could be worth watching," said analysts at Monex Capital, in a note.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was flat at 2.878%, but rose Thursday on those taper expectations.

Europe stocks were just barely in the green, tracking U.S. stock futures, while Asia markets mostly rose, with Japan in the lead as the dollar reached a five-year high against the yen. Oil slipped along with gold.

Within individual stocks, shares of Intel Corp. (INTC) could see pressure following late-session losses. Bloomberg reported, citing a source, that Google Inc. (GOOG) may be considering a plan to make its own server chips, using technology from ARM Holdings PLC (ARMHY). Shares of ARM surged over 5% in London.

Shares of Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) could gain in premarket trading after the company reported late Thursday that fourth-quarter profit fell to 13 cents a share, but Creative Cloud subscribers rose by a better-than-expected 402,000 to 1.4 million.