(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on the Wall Street as investors dismissed Moody's credit ratings downgrade of 15 of the world's largest banks.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures added 37.00 points to 12,539.00. The Nasdaq Futures edged 4.25 points higher to 2,556.00. Standard and Poor's 500 futures inched up 3.60 points to 1,321.90.
Ratings agency Moody's cut credit ratings of several banks by one to three notches to reflect their risk of losses inherent to capital-markets activities.
There are no major U.S. economic data scheduled for release on Friday.
On the European front, German business sentiment deteriorated more than forecast in June, to the lowest in over two years, a survey showed. Data from Ifo institute showed the business confidence index declined to 105.3 from 106.9 a month ago, while economists expected the index to drop to 105.6.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks ended sharply lower as a slew of disappointing economic data from America and around the world raised worries over global growth.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: MS, DRI, R, CCL, ACI
In corporate news, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) rose 3.15 percent in premarket. Rating agency Moody's downgraded credit rating of MS by two notches, one level less than expected.
Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) and Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) may be in the spotlight after Moody's rating action.
Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI) lost 3.06 percent in premarket following its quarterly report. The Orlando, Florida-based company posted quarterly earnings in line with Wall Street projections amid a 1.9 percent drop in same-restaurant sales at its three casual dining brands. The company, which raised its quarterly dividend by 16 percent to 50 cents, cited an earlier Lenten season and Easter holiday for lower sales.
Ryder Systems Inc. (NYSE: R) tumbled 10.99 percent in premarket after the Florida-based transportation company reduced its earnings forecast for the second quarter, blaming a fall in demand for its commercial rental services.
Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE:ACI) fell 1.13 percent after the St. Louis, Missouri-based coal producer announced plans to reduce production, idle several operations and slash roughly 750 jobs due to the "unprecedented downturn in demand for coal-based electricity."
Carnival Corp. (NYSE:CCL) reports its second-quarter numbers before the markets open. Wall Street analysts expect the Florida-based cruise and vacation company to earn 8 cents on revenue of $3.55 billion.
European markets fell, with Germany's DAX falling 1.02 percent to trade at 6,278.24. France's CAC40 lost 0.76 percent to trade at 3,090.53. U.K.'s FTSE 100 dropped 0.90 percent to trade at 5,516.51.
Asian markets retreated tracking global cues, Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbled 1.40 percent to close at 18,995.13. Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 0.29 percent to end at 8,798.35. India's BSE Sensex finished at 16,972.51, down 0.35 percent. Chinese market were closed for a holiday.
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures edged up 0.10 percent to $78.28 per barrel. Gold futures added 0.22 percent to $1,568.9 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro traded 0.02 percent lower against the U.S. dollar at 1.2537, and the British pound held steady against the greenback at 1.5592. The dollar gained 0.12 percent against the Japanese yen at 80.3800.