(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher opening on the Wall Street after a data from China showed growth in the world's second-biggest economy slowed for a sixth consecutive quarter, increasing speculation policy makers will take action to boost stimulus measures.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 39 points to 12,541. The Nasdaq Futures added 10.25 points to 2,548.00. Standard and Poor's 500 futures inched up 3.90 points to 1,333.10.
On the domestic economic front, a data showed that core producer-prices index for June rose 0.2 percent, flat with previous month and in line with economists expectations. The headline index unexpectedly inched up 0.1 percent last month after a 1.0 percent drop in May, with expectations of a 0.5 percent fall.
The University of Michigan consumer-confidence numbers for July is due at 9:55 a.m. ET. Economists expect the index to increase slightly to 73.5 from 73.2 in the prior month.
China said its gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter was 7.6 percent, down from 8.1 percent in the first quarter, with the growth at its slowest place in around three years.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks ended lower, extending its losing streak for a sixth consecutive day as concerns of a global economic slowdown negatively affecting corporate earnings weighed on the sentiment.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: JPM, WFC, LXK, QCOR, IGTE
In corporate news, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) rose 0.44 percent in premarket after the banking giant posted quarterly revenue that topped Wall Street projections. Earnings dropped 7.4 percent in the second quarter, hit by losses on CIO's synthetic credit portfolio.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) inched higher in premarket after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings as lending rose and the amount of bad loans fell.
Lexmark International Inc. (NYSE:LXK) tumbled 13.62 percent in premarket after the Lexington, Kentucky-based maker of printers warned of lower second-quarter results amid weaker demand environment, chiefly in Europe.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOR) rose 3.91 percent in premarket. The company disclosed that it shipped 4,710 vials of its primary product Acthar in the second quarter, up from 4,111 vials in the prior quarter and 2,430 in the year-ago period.
iGATE Corp. (NASDAQ:IGTE) swung to a second-quarter profit, helped by higher revenue and lower costs. However, results missed Street's expectations, sending its shares lower in premarket.
European markets traded higher, with Germany's DAX up 1.07 percent to trade at 6,487.70. France's CAC40 rose 0.56 percent to trade at 3,152.63. U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.54 percent to trade at 5,638.66.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index inched 0.01 percent higher to close at 2,185.73. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.05 percent to end at 8,724.12. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 0.35 percent to end at 19,092.63. India's BSE Sensex finished at 17,213.70, down 0.11 percent.
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures retreated 1.38 percent to $84.630 per barrel. Gold futures declined 1.05 percent to $1,559.2 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro traded 0.12 percent lower against the U.S. dollar at 1.2188 while the British pound gained 0.36 percent against the greenback to 1.5483. The dollar fell 0.03 percent against the Japanese yen to 79.2900.