(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a flat opening on the Wall Street as investors digested quarterly report from Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and a set of slightly downbeat economic data.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures shed 6 points to 13,400. The Nasdaq futures dipped 0.25 points to 2,736.75 Standard and Poor's 500 futures slid 0.10 points to 1,467.
U.S. earnings gathers steam with mortgage lender Wells Fargo posting its quarterly numbers followed by other major banks next week.
On the domestic economic front, a government data showed that import prices unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent in December after a 0.8 percent fall in November, while economists expected a gain of 0.1 percent. Export prices also dropped 0.1 percent after a 0.7 percent decline in November.
A report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that trade deficit for November widened to $48.7 billion from $42.1 billion in October, while economists expected trade gap to narrow to $41.3 billion.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks ended on a positive note as investors weighed better-than-expected trade data from China and comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: WFC, BBY, JCP, AXP, CVX, PSUN, BV
In corporate news, Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) said quarterly earnings and revenue increased, while net interest margin fell to 3.56 percent from 3.89 percent in the year-ago period. Shares dropped 1.24 percent in premarket.
Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) jumped 6.22 percent in premarket after the consumer electronics giant posted its holiday period sales results.
J.C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE: JCP) retreated 4.60 percent in premarket. UBS downgraded rating on the stock to "sell" from "neutral".
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) inched higher in premarket after the company forecast fourth-quarter earnings to be notably higher than in the prior quarter.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) edged lower in premarket after the company announced plans to slash 5,400 jobs or 8.5 percent of its workforce. AXP also reported better than expected quarterly earnings on revenue growth and higher cardmember spending.
Bazaarvoice Inc. (NASDAQ: BV) may be in focus. The social media marketing company's acquisition of PowerReviews Inc. has been challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (NASDAQ: PSUN) reported higher fourth-quarter same store sales and lowered its earnings view to the lower end of its forecast.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX edging 0.01 percent lower to trade at 7,707.75. France's CAC40 dropped 0.26 percent to trade at 3,692.89. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.15 percent to trade at 6,110.81.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index tumbled 1.78 percent to close at 2,243. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.40 percent to finish at 10,801.57. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.39 percent to end at 23,264.07. India's BSE Sensex ended flat at 19,663.64.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures declined 0.48 percent to $93.36 per barrel. Gold futures fell 0.61 percent to $1,667.40 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro added 0.49 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3337, while the British pound slipped 0.06 percent to 1.6159. The dollar rose 0.16 percent against the Japanese yen to 88.9200.