Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a steady open on Friday, as markets were jittery ahead of the release of U.S. economic reports later in the day and as escalating violence in Iraq continued to dominate market attention.
Ahead of the open, the Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.07% loss, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.03% dip, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.01% uptick.
U.S. stocks declined on Thursday, after President Barack Obama warned of possible military strikes in Iraq after a rebellion led by a Sunni Islamist group continued to spread rapidly through the country. Late on Thursday, Kurdish forces in the north took control of Kirkuk to protect it from the Islamists.
The events overshadowed the release of mixed U.S. economic reports. The Labor Department reported that the number of people filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 7 increased by 4,000 to 317,000. The consensus forecast had been for a decline of 3,000.
The unexpected increase in jobless claims was not seen as altering the view that the labor market is continuing to gradually improve.
At the same time, U.S. retail sales rose 0.3% in May, falling short of expectations for a 0.6% gain. However, retail sales for April were revised up to a 0.5% gain from a previously reported increase of 0.1%.
Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) was expected to be in focus after diving over 15% on Thursday, as the Canadian yogawear retailer reduced its revenue and earnings forecast for the fiscal year and said its CFO would retire early next year.
In the tech sector, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) surged 5.15% in pre-market trade after the semiconductor maker raised its second-quarter revenue forecast and said annual sales will increase for the first time since 2011.
Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) shares gained 0.30% in extended trade, after the micro-blogging service on Thursday said Ali Rowghani resigned as chief operating officer, effective immediately.
Elsewhere, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) signed an agreement with real-estate developer Soho China (HK:0410) to set up more battery-charging outlets in Beijing, the world’s largest auto market. The news sent shares in the electric-car maker up 0.29% in early trading.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 slid 0.55%, France’s CAC 40 declined 0.64%, Germany''s DAX retreated 0.80%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 lost 0.71%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng climbed 0.62%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 0.83%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on producer price inflation and preliminary data on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan.
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