Stock Futures Take a Breather; Earnings in Focus


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With U.S. stock-index futures little changed, the broad S&P 500 was set to open near record levels as traders parsed through the latest round of corporate earnings.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:03 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 13 points to 15468, S&P 500 futures rose 0.5 point to 1681 and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 1.3 points to 3046.

The Dow and S&P 500 both landed at new all-time highs on Thursday, helped by upbeat economic data and corporate results, coupled with dovish remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. With little in the way of economic data on tap, traders had a slew of earnings results to digest on Friday.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) both reported disappointing earnings after the closing bell on Thursday. Shares of the technology heavyweights plummeted in early trading.

Meanwhile, diversified manufacturing behemoth General Electric (NYSE:GE) weighed in with a second-quarter beat, sending its shares climbing. Fellow industrial Honeywell (NYSE:HON) also revealed better-than-expected results.

Schulmberger (NYSE:SLB), the world's biggest oilfield servicing company, also unveiled earnings that topped Wall Street's expectations as it boosted drilling operations outside North America.

Meanwhile, the People's Bank of China said it is relaxing controls on deposit rates bank pay by slowly lifting the floor that is currently in place. Markets in Europe popped slightly on the news.

In commodities, oil prices climbed to $108.46, or 0.42%, to $108.49 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rallied 1.1% to $3.145 a gallon. Gold climbed $5.90, or 0.46%, to $1,291 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.15% to 2714, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.14% to 6625 and the German DAX slumped 0.05% to 8333.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 sold off by 1.5% to 14590 and the Chinese Hang Seng ticked up 0.08% to 21362.

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