(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a higher open on a holiday-shortened trading day for Wall Street as investors weighed some positive global reports.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures added 37 points to 12,837. The Nasdaq futures rose 13 points to 2,609. Standard and Poor's 500 futures inched up 3.80 points to 1,392.10.
Buoying the sentiment were hopes that a final agreement on a debt-reduction package for Greece may be reached on Monday, when the European officials will meet again on Monday to complete further technical work.
There are no major domestic economic reports due and corporate announcements light for the day.
In overseas news, a report showed that the German business confidence improved unexpectedly in November to 101.4 from 100 in October, while expectations were for the reading to drop to 99.5. A report from China showed that manufacturing activity in November expanded for the first time in 13 months.
U.S. equity markets were shut Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday and will be open for a half day today.
On Wednesday, U.S. stocks closed modestly higher ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, weighed by reports that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a cease fire. Investors also digested a mixed set of domestic data and news that euro-area finance ministers failed yet again to reach an agreement on next bailout tranche to Greece.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: RIMM, MAPP, KITD
Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) jumped 18 percent in premarket after Canadian brokerage National Bank Financial said sales of new BlackBerry 10 phone, due for launch early next year, will be better than expected.
KIT Digital Inc. (NASDAQ: KITD) tumbled 54.11 percent after the IP video software services company disclosed that will restate its financial statements for the 2009-2011 period. The company's former chairman and CEO Kaleil Isaza Tuzman has sent a letter to KIT's board, urging the company to discuss an acquisition offer.
MAP Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MAPP) surged 12.71 percent after the company announced that the U.S. health regulators have accepted its resubmission of a new drug application for its migraine treatment.
Retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) may be in focus as investors gauage the spending of the consumers on Black Friday - the traditional beginning of the shopping season.
European markets traded modestly higher, with Germany's DAX up 0.11 percent to trade at 7,253.27. France's CAC40 added 0.10 percent to trade at 3,501.66. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.22 percent to trade at 5,803.89.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index added 0.58 percent to finish at 2,027.38. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.79 percent to end at 21,913.98. India's BSE Sensex ended at 18,506.57, down 0.06 percent. The Japanese market was shut for a public holiday.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures slipped 0.09 percent to $87.30 per barrel. Gold futures rose 0.34 percent to $1,734.10 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro gained 0.28 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2922, and the British pound inched up 0.07 percent to 1.5947. The dollar dropped 0.33 percent against the Japanese yen to 82.1900.