Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a mixed open on Friday, as investors remained cautious amid concerns over renewed tensions in Ukraine and the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
Ahead of the open, the Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.08% loss, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.05% dip, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.11% rise.
Market sentiment was hit after a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet crashed in eastern Ukraine overnight. All 298 people on board were killed, sharply raising the stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels in which Russia and the West back opposing sides.
The crash came a day after the U.S. and the European Union announced a fresh round of sanctions against Russia, following the annexation of Crimea in April and ongoing tensions in the rest of Ukraine. The U.S. package was the largest round of penalties so far.
Markets were also jittery after Israel announced late Thursday the start of a ground campaign in Gaza after 10 days of aerial and naval bombardments failed to stop Palestinian rocket attacks.
The tech sector was expected to be active, after International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) reported a ninth straight quarter of declining sales as demand fell for hardware and computer services. The news sent the company''s shares down 1.40% in pre-market trade.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) dropped 0.88% in extended trade after saying it plans said to cut 18,000 jobs, the largest round of cuts in its history, as Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella integrates Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK)’s handset unit and slims down the software maker.
DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) was also likely to be in focus, as shares slipped 0.21% in late trading after the largest U.S. satellite TV provider announced that it will be offering students at 10 universities its $199.99 NFLSundayTicket.TV, an online service that will start streaming games on September 7.
Elsewhere, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was said to be testing a "buy" button on browsers and mobile devices that lets users make purchases through advertisements.
In the same sector, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), down 0.46% after hours, said it acquired CardSpring, a service that lets users redeem deals and discounts through merchants'' tweets.
Other stocks likely to be in focus included General Electric (NYSE:GE), Honeywell International (NYSE:HON), Bank Of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK) and Interpublic (NYSE:IPG), scheduled to report second-quarter earnings later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 slipped 0.27%, France’s CAC 40 edged down 0.15%, Germany''s DAX declined 0.71%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 retreated 0.60%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng fell 0.28%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.01%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release preliminary data from the University of Michigan on consumer sentiment.
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