Futures narrowly mixed as Syria worries ease
U.S. stock index futures hovered around the flatline Friday as month-end buyers stepped in and as fears of imminent military action against Syria eased.
The Dow and S&P 500 are poised to log their worst monthly declines since May 2012.
The U.K. voted against joining any military action in Syria on Thursday, in a move some saw as likely to delay any strike. However, the White House said that President Barack Obama will decide on a response to Syria based solely on U.S. interests, although he will consult with Britain.
"While the U.K. parliament vote against military action in Syria may make it seem air-strikes are less likely, the argument could be made in the U.S. that they are unlikely to generate further quick international support, and waiting to debate it further may achieve little but appear to lack resolve," wrote Greg Gibbs, a senior foreign-exchange strategist at RBS.
"If the U.S. administration is leaning in favor of air strikes, the best timing is as soon as the U.N. inspectors leave the country on Saturday," he added.
On the economic front, consumer spending ticked up 0.1 percent in July, according to the Commerce Department. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a gain of 0.3 percent.
The Institute for Supply Management Chicago will release its August index of Midwest business activity at 9:45 am ET. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a reading of 53.0 compared with 52.3 in July. And the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of consumer sentiment is expected at 9:55 am ET. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 80.5 compared with 80.0 in the preliminary August report.
General Electric rose after the Wall Street Journal reported the conglomerate plans to spin off the U.S. consumer lending division of GE Capital.
Facebook climbed after Stifel raised its price target on the social-networking giant to $40 from $38.01.
Among earnings, Salesforce.com soared after the cloud software company lifted its 2014 sales outlook after posting better-than-expected quarterly results. In addition, at least six brokerages boosted their price targets on the company.
Big Lots rose after the retailer reported earnings that topped earnings expectations, thanks to a strong uptick in same-store sales. Still, the company cut its full-year outlook.
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter:
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