(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a flat opening on the Wall Street amid a set of economic readings and corporate earnings reports.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures declined 1 point to 13,895. The Nasdaq futures added 8.00 points to 2,750. Standard and Poor's 500 futures rose 1.20 points to 1,506.40.
A report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that U.S. trade deficit for December narrowed to $38.5 billion from a revised $48.6 billion in November, while economists expected trade gap to narrow to $46.0 billion.
A data showed Chinese exports rose 25 percent in January and imports grew 28.8 percent, with both numbers coming in better than expectations. Germany's exports increased 0.3 percent in December, slower than expectations of an increase of 1.4 percent.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed in red as investors weighed comments from the European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi amid mixed economic readings and earnings reports.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: MCD, LNKD, ATVI, HAS, AOL, APO
McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) edged lower in premarket after the foodservice retailer reported that worldwide comparable sales fell 1.9 percent last month, citing challenging environment and difficult prior year comparisons. U.S. comparable sales rose 0.9 percent.
Linkedin Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) surged 10.00 percent in premarket after the online professional-networking service reported upbeat quarterly results amid a jump in membership.
Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) gained 7.38 percent in premarket after video-game maker posted a jump in fourth-quarter earnings that also topped market expectations.
Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) may be active after the toy maker boosted its quarterly dividend by 11 percent. The company posted lower quarterly earnings that however beat Wall Street projections.
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) rose 6.08 percent in premarket after the Web services company reported higher earnings for the fourth quarter as the company posted revenue growth for the first time in 8 years boosted by gains in advertising revenue.
Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) advanced 4.74 percent in premarket after the asset manager reported a sharp increase in fourth-quarter net income.
European markets traded higher, with Germany's DAX up 0.26 percent to trade at 7,610.41. France's CAC40 added 0.59 percent to trade at 3,622.36. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.43 percent to trade at 6,255.20.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index rose 0.57 percent to close at 2,432.40. Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 1.80 percent to finish at 11,153.16. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.16 percent to end at 23,215.16. India's BSE Sensex ended 0.49 percent lower at 19,484.77.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures traded 0.09 percent higher at $95.93 per barrel. Gold futures slipped 0.07 percent to $1,670.20 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro shed 0.23 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3367, while the British pound gained 0.60 percent to 1.5810. The dollar tumbled 1.30 percent against the Japanese yen at 92.4100.