U.S. stock futures pointed to rises on Friday, with the major indexes poised for solid weekly gains, as investors waited for an update on third-quarter economic growth and for earnings from prominent firms such as BlackBerry Ltd. and Walgreen Co.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 32 points, or 0.2%, to 16147, setting it on track for a 2.8% advance on the week. Futures for the S&P 500 index rose 3.80 points, or 0.2%, to 1805.90, poised for a 2.1% weekly gain. Those for the Nasdaq 100 index picked up 8.25 points, or 0.2%, to 3501.00, eyeing a 1.4% weekly rise. Thursday saw a mixed trading session, with the Dow average closing at its 46th record of the year, while the two other benchmarks inched lower.
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Earlier in the week, the U.S. indexes soared as investors interpreted the Federal Reserve's decision to begin tapering bond purchases in January as confidence in the underlying strength of the economy. The data calendar is relatively thin on Friday, with only a revision to the third-quarter gross domestic product likely to get attention.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expect growth to be revised up to 3.7% from a previous estimate of 3.6%. Several earnings reports are also on tap. Ahead of the opening bell, BlackBerry (RIMM) is forecast to post a third-quarter loss of 44 cents a share on revenue of $1.59 billion, according to FactSet estimates. Walgreen (WAG) is estimated to report fiscal first-quarter earnings of 72 cents a share on revenue of $18.36 billion, while CarMax (KMX) is expected to report third-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share on revenue of $2.91 billion. Among premarket movers, Red Hat Inc. (RHT) rallied 13% after the software firm late Thursday said fiscal third-quarter profit rose 50%. Shares of Carnival Corp. (CCL) gained 4.3%, adding to gains from Thursday when the cruise-line operator reported fourth-quarter earnings. In other financial markets,
Chinese stocks closed at 17-week low, while the rest of Asia was mixed and European stock markets headed for the best week since April. Gold rebounded from the previous session's losses, but stuck below $1,200 an ounce, while most metals prices rose. Oil futures slipped and the dollar inched higher.