Futures Pare Losses on Hopes for Banks
US stock index futures pointed to a flat open on Wall Street Friday, after strong gains in the previous session, as investors waited nervously for news from a meeting of global finance ministers this weekend.
Quadruple witching—contracts for stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures all expiring—could add volatility to trading.
Global banks were brought futures off their lows for the morning a day after news that global central banks will cooperate on dollar liquidity programs to help the institutions through the euro zone debt crisis.
Shares of Barclays and Credit Suisse gained about 3 percent.
US shares of Research In Motion fell as the company reported a steep drop in quarterly profit on limp sales of its smartphones and tablets.
Citigroup reiterated its sell rating and $20 price target for RIM, which was off nearly 19 percent in premarket trading.
Netflix shares also continued to come under pressure after the company lowered its estimated customer guidance. Shares were off nearly 1 percent premarket and are down 15 percent over the past month.
European shares rose in early trade on Friday, adding to gains following central bank action on Thursday to boost liquidity. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up. Japan's Nikkei average closed 2.3 percent stronger.
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is holding talks with European Union finance ministers on Friday on the possibility of leveraging the euro zone's bailout fund, the EFSF, to help resolve the debt crisis.
Economic data due out on Friday include the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers at 9:55 am in New York which will show the preliminary September consumer sentiment index. Economists told Reuters they expected a reading of 56.5 compared with 55.7 in the final August report.
The Treasury Department will release net capital flows and foreign Treasury purchases for July at 9 am in New York. In June, net capital inflows were $3.7 billion, foreign net sales of US Treasuries were $4.5 billion.
The Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) releases at 10:30 am New York time its weekly index of economic activity for Sept. 9. In the prior week the index read 123.0.
In corporate news Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM said it planned to order 50 long-haul jetliners from Airbus and Boeing in a deal worth around $12 billion at list prices.
Private equity firm Silver Lake was also reported to be considering a bid for internet company Yahoo Inc.
And UBS is expected to shrink its investment banking business after being hit by a loss of around $2 billion because of a trader's unauthorized trading.