Wall Street was setting up for an bumpy open as stock futures pushed lower on Friday, looking set to extend sharp losses logged the prior session after several Asian markets followed up with deep declines.
There is no data to distract investors, though shares of Microsoft Corp. and Starbucks Corp. could gain after results late Thursday. Several heavyweights are due to report before the opening bell, including Honeywell International Inc., Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co.
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Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 84 points, or 0.5%, to 16,065, while those for the Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 10 points, or 0.6%, to 1,814.20. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index stumbled 20.50 points, or 0.6%, to 3,593.75.
The day before, the S&P 500 lost 0.9%, while the Dow industrials suffered their worst loss in five weeks, dropping 1.1%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.6% after a surprise contraction in China's manufacturing sector, which came on top of worries about the country's financial sector and possible spillover from this to the rest of the world.
Emerging stocks took a major hit Thursday, with the Argentine peso diving.
Earnings are also presenting worries for investors, as most of the big names that reported this week missed Wall Street expectations, said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, in a note. "This alone is not only rattling traders' nerves," he said. "The Federal Reserve meeting, during which the handcuffs around quantitative easing could be tightened further, is also a concern."
"We are in a scenario where good news is bad news. The economic data released yesterday in the U.S. also confirmed that the strong growth story is intact, and this has raised the odds for possible action by the Fed during their next meeting," said Aslam. The Federal Reserve meets Jan. 28-29, and influential Fed watcher Jon Hilsenrath of The Wall Street Journal recently predicted officials would use that meeting to taper bond-buying again.
European stocks were off nearly 1% after a mostly crushing session for Asia stocks. The Shanghai Composite managed to buck a trend that saw the Nikkei 225 index slide nearly 2% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index lose 1.2%. The dollar traded choppy, while gold and oil eased off.
Shares of Microsoft could get bid up in premarket after the company beat Wall Street estimates with fourth-quarter results.
Shares of Starbucks may also rise in premarket. The coffee giant posted a 25% rise in profit, though sales missed Wall Street's targets.
Reporting early, Honeywell is forecast to post earnings of $1.22 a share in the fourth quarter.
Procter & Gamble is expected to report fiscal second-quarter earnings of $1.20 a share.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is seen posting earnings of 43 cents a share for the fourth quarter.
Kimberly Clark Corp. is expected to post fourth-quarter earnings of $1.39 a share.
Shares of Apple Inc. were pointing lower in thin premarket trade. Rival Samsung Electronics Co. forecast a weak first half after fourth-quarter earnings showed a sharp slowdown in growth.
EBay Inc. may draw attention after Carl Icahn said he is ready for a proxy fight to win two seats on the board of the online auctioneer, with the intent of pushing eBay to spin off PayPal.