Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Friday, as markets recovered from Thursday sharp downward trend due to mounting concerns over Portugal''s banking sector and as investors eyed the release of more earnings reports later in the day.
Ahead of the open, the Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.20% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.20% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.27% increase.
Global equities came under broad selling pressure on Thursday amid growing fears over financial troubles at the family-owned holding companies behind Espirito Santo Financial Group, Portugal''s largest listed bank.
Markets seemed to shrug off a report by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday, saying that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending July 5 declined by 11,000 to a 304,000 from the previous week’s total of 315,000.
Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) was expected to be active as shares edged up 0.16% in extended trade amid reports the cigarette producer is closing in on a purchase of Lorillard (NYSE:LO) and may announce a deal as soon as next week.
Retailers were also likely to be in focus, after the Gap (NYSE:GPS), down 1.25% in late trading, posted an unexpected drop in comparable-store sales in June.
Among auto stocks, General Motors (NYSE:GM) was set to move following reports German rival Volkswagen (XETRA:VOWG) outsold the U.S. automaker in China in the first half of the year, keeping it on track to remain the best-selling foreign car company in the world’s biggest vehicle market.
Other stocks likely to be in focus included Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST), scheduled to report second-quarter earnings later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 gained 0.45%, France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.48%, Germany''s DAX added 0.12%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 rose 0.20%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng dipped 0.02%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.34%.
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