Futures Fall After Greece Asks for Aid
U.S. stock index futures turned slightly lower before the open Friday as the Greek Prime Minister requested aid from the International Monetary Fund and European Union.
"This is what the markets have been expecting. How were they going to avoid it?" Justin Urquhart Stewart, partner at Seven Investment Management, told CNBC.
The euro hovered near a one-year low against the dollar and European shares remained higher in the wake of the Greek bailout news, but that enthusiasm failed to continue on Wall Street.
"I've been amazed that the (European Union) has withstood the pressures it has thus far. I'm afraid that it won't be able to stand much longer," Dennis Gartman, founder of The Gartman Letter, told CNBC.
"Trying to get this passed by all of the members of the monetary union, when you have Portugal, Spain, Italy in the same circumstance, it's going to be very hard for anybody to get it passed," Gartman said.
Futures shaved a few points after a government report offered a mixed bag on orders for long-lasting goods.
New orders for durables unexpectedly fell in Marchdue primarily to a plunge in demand for new aircraft. But the headline number reflected the biggest gain overall for durables in more than two years.
On the earnings front, Microsoft, American Express, and Amazon.com all delivered after-the-bell numbers. Investors were disappointed with forecasts from Amazon and with growth rates at Microsoft, while pleased with results at American Express.
Microsft shares fell 1 percent in premarket trading, American Express gained 2.3 percent and Amazon rose 4 percent.
Friday's earnings calendar includes the latest quarterly reports from Honeywell (HON), Johnson Controls, Schlumberger, Travelers, and Xerox.
Economic numbers set for release include a March reading on durable goods orders at 8:30 am, which is expected to rise 0.2 percent, and March new home sales at 10 am, with forecasters looking for a 5 percent rise over February levels.
In other news, CtW Investment Group asked regulators to probe insider transactions by executives at CVS Caremark . CVS says the group's allegations are without merit.