(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a higher opening on the Wall Street amid a set of better-than-expected corporate earnings and German business confidence data.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 24 points to 13,805. The Nasdaq futures advanced 10.25 points to 2,728.50. Standard and Poor's 500 futures gained 4 points to 1,495.75.
At 10 am ET, a report may show that new-home sales - which measures the annualized number of new single-family homes that were sold during the previous month - rose to 385,000 from 377,000.
In European news, a report showed business sentiment strengthened in Germany to 104.2 from 102.4 in December and topped expectations of a reading of 103.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed on a mixed note as disappointing quarterly sales and forecast from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) weighed on the sentiment.
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In corporate news, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the second quarter, yet shares of the world's largest software company edged lower in premarket.
Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) raised its full-year earnings forecast after second-quarter profit increased on growth in sales and margins. Shares gained about 2 percent in Friday premarket trading.
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Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) reported a 13.1 percent increase in quarterly earnings, which came in line with Street, on strong traffic growth. Shares were up 4 percent during the pre-market hours.
Shares of Tempur-Pedic International Inc. (NYSE: TPX) gained 10 percent in the pre-market after the mattress maker's fourth-quarter profit topped analysts' expectations. They advanced more than 14 percent in extended trade on Thursday.
Hasbro Inc. (NYSE: HAS) fell 4 percent after it guided its fiscal 2013 revenue below Wall Street expectations. Also, fourth-quarter revenues failed to meet expectations on weak consumer demand through much of the holiday season.
Oshkosh Corp. (NYSE: OSK) gained 7 percent after it reported higher profit for its first quarter, despite lower sales. The company has also raised its earnings outlook for fiscal 2013.
European markets traded in green, with Germany's DAX jumping 1.27 percent to trade at 7,846.74. France's CAC40 advanced 0.68 percent to trade at 3,777.26. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.12 percent to trade at 6,272.66.
Asian markets closed mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index down 0.49 percent to close at 2,291.30. Japan's Nikkei 225 rallied 2.88 percent to finish at 10,926.65. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.08 percent to end at 23,580.43. India's BSE Sensex ended 0.90 percent higher at 20,103.53.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures gained 0.35 percent to $96.29 per barrel. Gold futures dropped 0.49 percent to $1,661.20 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.64 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3462, and the British pound inched up 0.18 percent to 1.5817. The dollar added 0.93 percent against the Japanese yen to 91.1700.