(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on the Wall Street ahead of a speech by President Barack Obama. A set of downbeat quarterly results from companies including, J.C. Penney and Groupon dented sentiment.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures shed 86 points to 12,689. The Nasdaq futures dropped 7.75 points to 2,564.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures fell 8.10 points to 1,367.20.
In a speech later in the day, Obama is likely address the looming "fiscal cliff" of roughly $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases that could weigh on economic growth.
A government data showed that import prices increased 0.5 percent in October after a 1.1 percent gain in September, better than economists expectations of a rise 0.1 percent. Export prices were unchanged after increasing 0.8 percent in September.
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At 9.55 am ET, the Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey for November may show the index rose to 83.3 from 82.6 in last month.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks ended sharply lower as worries over the looming "fiscal cliff" and news on Greece offset a set of positive domestic economic reports.
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In corporate news, Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) shed 4.90 percent in premarket after the entertainment giant's quarterly revenue trailed market expectations.
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J.C. Penney Co Inc. (NYSE: JCP) posted a quarterly loss as sales plunged and margins contracted sharply and shares of department store chain tumbled 11.48 percent in premarket.
Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) slumped 20.92 percent after the daily deal website posted weaker-than-expected quarterly revenue amid continued challenges in Europe. Total cost of revenue more than doubled in the third quarter.
Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) may be in focus after the fashion specialty retailer's quarterly earnings missed market expectations. The company also narrowed its earnings forecast for the full year.
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: MDRX) shed 3.34 percent in premarket after the company confirmed that it is evaluating strategic alternatives and that it withdrew its 2012 outlook.
Priceline.com Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN) fell 1.87 percent in premarket after the online travel company agreed to acquire online travel site Kayak Software Corp. (NASDAQ: KYAK) for $1.8 billion in cash and stock. KYAK soared 25.81 percent in premarket.
Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) added 7.24 percent in premarket after the supercomputers maker guided full year to be solidly profitable and said it agreed to buy privately-held advanced scalable supercomputing services developer Appro International Inc. for about $25 million in cash.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF) surged 8.70 percent in premarket after the entertainment company swung to a profit in the second quarter as revenue rose.
Array Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRY) retreated 10.59 percent in premarket after the company priced an underwritten public offering of 18 million shares at $3.65 each.
European markets traded in red, with Germany's DAX off 1.47 percent to trade at 7,099.19. France's CAC40 retreated 0.78 percent to trade at 3,380.97. U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.93 percent to trade at 5,722.20.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index edged 0.12 percent lower to finish at 2,069.07. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.90 percent to end at 8,757.60. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 0.85 percent to end at 21,384.38. India's BSE Sensex closed at 18,683.68, down 0.86 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures dropped 1.03 percent to $84.21 per barrel. Gold futures rose 0.09 percent to $1,727.50 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro fell 0.39 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2699, and the British pound declined 0.43 percent to 1.5917. The dollar shed 0.36 percent against the Japanese yen to 79.1800.