After turning in a lackluster performance in the previous session, stocks may move modestly lower in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are pointing to a moderately lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 39 points.
Lingering concerns about Europe may contribute to early weakness on Wall Street amid a relatively light day in terms of U.S. economic data and corporate news.
Trading activity is likely to be subdued, however, as many traders will be looking to get a head start on the long Memorial Day weekend.
Not long after the open, trading could be impacted by the release of Reuters and the University of Michigan's revised report on U.S. consumer sentiment in May. The index is expected to be unrevised from the mid-month reading of 77.8.
Among individual stocks, Verifone (PAY) may see early weakness after the electronic payments company reported better than expected second quarter earnings but forecast full year results toward the low end of estimates.
Shares of Semtech (SMTC) may also be in focus after the chip maker reported first quarter earnings that fell short of expectations but forecast second quarter results in line with analyst estimates.
Futures exchange operator CME Group (CME) is moving higher in pre-market trading after announcing a 5-for-1 split of its common stock in the form of a 400 percent stock dividend.
Stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Thursday, as traders seemed reluctant to make any significant moves. The choppy trading came after the markets saw considerable volatility over the course of the two previous sessions.
The major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line, eventually ending the session mixed. While the Nasdaq fell 10.74 points or 0.4 percent to 2,839.38, the Dow rose 33.60 points or 0.3 percent to 12,529.75 and the S&P 500 edged up 1.82 points or 0.1 percent to 1,320.68.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index crept up by 0.2 percent, while Australia's All Ordinaries Index fell by 0.6 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned lower over the course of the trading day. While the German DAX Index is down by 0.4 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.03 to $90.63 a barrel after advancing $0.76 to $90.66 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, gold futures are climbing $4 to $1,561.50 an ounce. In the previous session, the precious metal rose $9.10 to $1,557.50 an ounce.
Among currencies, the dollar is trading at 79.57 yen compared to 79.60 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.2518 compared to yesterday's $1.2533.
by RTT Staff Writer
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