US Stocks Trim Losses After Durable Goods Orders
U.S. futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Friday, as markets continue to digest when the Federal Reserve may begin to reduce its bond-buying program. Futures were off their lows following a stronger-than-expected durable goods report.
"The next few trading sessions will be critical for the equity market to establish whether market reaction to recent events is temporary and short-lived, or if this is the start of a more fundamental correction," Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said in a morning note.
Early signs suggest the former, with U.S. stock markets paring back almost all of their early losses on Thursday, and the Nikkei 225 ending higher after a roller-coaster session on Friday.
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Friday may be a quieter day for markets in the U.S. however, ahead of the Memorial Day long weekend. Markets were also shut in several Asia-Pacific markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.
(Read More: Dealers Hope Memorial Day Sparks Car Sales)
The U.S. durable goods report for April rose 3.3 percent after falling 5.9 percent in March due to weak order numbers from Boeing. Analysts polled by Reuters forecasts orders rose by 1.5 percent in the month.
First-quarter earnings season trails off from Friday, with only Abercrombie & Fitch posting numbers before the start of U.S. trade. The teen retailer posted a quarterly loss of 9 cents per share, four cents wider than estimates. The full-year forecast also fell short of estimates.
St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard told CNBC on Friday that low inflation was the "wild card" that needs to be solved, before the Fed can start tapering off its bond purchasing program.
"One wildcard for data in the U.S. is inflation. Numbers have come in quite low. Inflation has been, by our preferred measures, about 1 percent over the last year – way below our target," said Bullard.
"Before I am in favor of tapering I would like to see some assurance that inflation is going to move back towards target."
—By CNBC's Katy Barnato