Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a moderately lower open on Friday, as markets were still digesting the release of a series of U.S. economic reports on Thursday and eyed upcoming data later in the day.
Ahead of the open, the Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.14% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.14% decline, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.12% loss.
Optimism over the strength of the U.S. economic recovery improved after a string of upbeat economic reports were released on Thursday, including jobless claims and manufacturing activity in New York and Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, investors continued to monitor developments in Ukraine as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia it faced broader economic and industrial sanctions if it meddled in Ukraine''s presidential elections on May 25.
JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) was expected to remain in focus, as shares soared 17.92% in pre-market trade after the department-store chain posted reported late Thursday its first quarterly sales gain since 2011. Although the company is still losing money, the first-quarter loss was narrower than expected.
The auto sector was also likely to be active, as Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway cut its stake in General Motors (NYSE:GM) in the first quarter. In addition, a number of hedge funds including Greenlight Capital exited completely after the carmaker recalled a record number of vehicles.
The news sent GM shares down 0.29% in early trading.
Separately, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) edged up 0.12% pre-market following reports the electric car maker edged out Toyota as the biggest auto-industry employer in California. The company said it now employs more than 6,000 people in the state.
Elsewhere, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) slipped 0.14% in extended trade after announcing that director Bert Nordberg will not stand for re-election just a year after he was named, leaving the smartphone maker with six board members.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were mixed. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 edged up 0.09%, France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.01%, Germany''s DAX fell 0.17%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 slipped 0.09%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng edged down 0.08%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.41%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on building permits and housing starts, as well as a preliminary reading on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan.
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