U.S. stock-index futures indicated a flat open on Friday, as global markets reacted to weaker Chinese manufacturing data and a negative first day of trading on Wall Street yesterday.
Wall Street recorded its first negative start to a year since 2008 on Thursday, as a downgrade of Apple hit technology shares and another set of better-than-expected economic reports failed to move investors.
The Dow posted its worst day in two months, with better-than-expected manufacturing reports in the U.S. and Europe failing to offer much comfort.
Asian shares were lower on Friday as profit-taking set in amid low trading volumes. Japanese markets remain closed and will resume trade on January 6. On Thursday, a final report from HSBC showed Chinese factory activity hit a three-month low in December.
However, in Europe, equities were higher on Friday, with retail stocks performing well and with Next posting a rise of 8 percent.
Attention turn today to outgoing U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who will address the American Economic Association annual meeting in Philadelphia at 14:30 local time, just four weeks before the end of his eight-year reign at the Fed. Markets will be looking for hints of further reductions in monthly bond purchases.
Boeing's machinists will vote on a contract that would see benefit cuts in exchange for building the 777X aircraft in the Seattle area. Leaders from the union rejected an initial contract back in November.