Wall Street Poised to Slip from Near 4-Year Highs

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S&P 500 futures fell on Friday, suggesting the broad-market index may recede from the highest level since June 2008 struck in the previous session.

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Today's Markets

As of 9:00 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 21 points to 12952, S&P 500 futures dipped 3.5 points to 1371 and Nasdaq 100 futures slid 5 points to 2638.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq has had an even stronger performance than the S&P 500 so far this year, rallying 14.7% to its highest value since the December 2000.

As Wall Street's performance has picked up, volatility has plunged. The CBOE's VIX, which is sometimes referred to as an equity fear gauge, presently trades at 17.3, having spiked to nearly 43 in September of last year, which was the highest since the financial crisis.

"We view these drops as symptomatic of a less anxious and potentially more range-bound market context," analysts at Barclays Capital wrote in a note to clients on Friday.

While equity markets have been reasonably tame recently, oil has been the subject of several large swings. After prices settled on Thursday, an Iranian media outlet reported a Saudi Arabian oil pipeline exploded, sending Brent crude prices, which are the European benchmark, soaring to levels not seen since 2008. As Saudi officials began spreading word that the report was untrue, prices have moderated somewhat.

The U.S. contract traded in New York fell 82 cents, or 0.74%, to $108.02 a barrel. Still, futures are up 10.1% for 2012 thus far. New York Harbor RBOB gasoline rose 0.07% to $3.042 a gallon. A gallon of regular at the pump costs $3.741 on average nationwide, up from $3.645 last month and $3.427 last year, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge report.

Gold fell $8.60, or 0.49%, to $1,714 a troy ounce.

In corporate news, Yelp is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol YELP on Friday. The local-business review website priced its initial public offering at $15 a share, meaning the company's market capitalization is just slightly under $900 billion.

There are no major U.S. economic reports on tap for the day.

On the European front, EU officials are expected to sign off on a bailout package Greece needs to stave off a default during the middle of next week.

The euro slid 0.48%, while the U.S. dollar rose 0.62% against a basket of six world currencies.

Foreign Markets

European blue chips fell 0.17%, the English FTSE 100 dropped 0.23% to 5918 and the German DAX slumped 0.35% to 6918.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 0.72% to 9777 and the Chinese Hang Seng jumped 0.81% to 21562.

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