(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a flat opening on the Wall Street as investors digested earnings reports from General Electric, Intel and Morgan Stanley.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 7 points to 13,549. The Nasdaq futures shed 7.75 points to 2,732.75. Standard and Poor's 500 futures gained 0.80 points to 1,476.50.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed in green as a set of better-than-expected housing and labor market data offset disappointing earnings reports from major banks.
On the domestic data front, a Reuters and the University of Michigan's survey of U.S. consumer sentiment is expected to show a reading of 75 for January up from 72.9 in December.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: GE, INTC, MS, T, AXP, RIMM, JCI, COF, XLNX
In corporate news, General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) rose 3.52 percent in premarket after the industrial conglomerate posted an increase in quarterly earnings and revenue, topping market expectations, helped by growth at its industrial and GE Capital segments.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) tumbled 6.22 percent in premarket after the world's largest chip maker reported a fall in quarterly earnings and revenue as macro-economic concerns continue to mute growth and recovery in the semiconductor sector. Santa Clara, California-based Intel also issued a downbeat forecast.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) jumped 6.51 percent after the investment banking giant reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on strong revenue from underwriting and fixed income businesses.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) may be in focus after the Dallas-based telecommunications giant disclosed it will record a $10 billion charge in the fourth quarter related to its pension plan and said it expects near-term pressure on earnings due to high subsidies on smartphones.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) lost 1.05 percent in premarket after the company reported a 47 percent drop in quarterly earnings on higher expenses and rise in provisions for losses.
Johnson Controls Inc. (NYSE: JCI) fell 2.82 percent in premarket after the provider of automotive interiors reported a 16.5 percent drop in quarterly earnings amid flat sales and the company guided below consensus, saying demand in Europe continued to soften.
Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) advanced 6.64 percent in premarket after shares of the Blackberry maker were upgraded to "buy" from "hold" by Jefferies.
Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) retreated 7.16 percent after the McLean, Virginia-based company's fourth-quarter results trailed market expectations.
Xilinx Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) may be in focus after the programmable chipmaker issued a downbeat revenue forecast for the fourth quarter following lower third-quarter results.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX down 0.30 percent to trade at 7,713. France's CAC40 shed 0.12 percent to trade at 3,741.20. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.38 percent to trade at 6,155.05.
Asian markets closed in green, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index jumping 1.41 percent to close at 2,317.07. Japan's Nikkei 225 surged 2.86 percent to finish at 10,913.30. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 1.12 percent to end at 23,601.78. India's BSE Sensex ended 0.38 percent higher at 20,039.04.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures dipped 0.12 percent to $95.39 per barrel. Gold futures fell 0.08 percent to $1,689.40 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro declined 0.43 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3319, and the British pound dropped 0.46 percent to 1.5920. The dollar inched 0.08 percent higher against the Japanese yen to 89.9500.