U.S. stock index futures were lower Friday, tracking weakness in overseas markets, amid fading hopes of a global round of monetary stimulus and as investors refocused their attention to the euro zone debt crisis.
World stocks rose on Thursday after China cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points in order to stimulate its economy. However hopes of stimulus measures in the U.S. were dashed by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s congressional speech, which made no commitment to further easing.
The Fed holds its next policy meeting on June 19 to 20.
Investors received more disappointing news just before the closing bell Thursday when the Fed released plans to force banksto hold greater capital reservesas a firewall against future financial difficulties, causing stocks to suffer a late-day reversal.
European shares fell, with downward pressure because of disappointing trade data from Germany. In April, German imports plummeted by their fastest rate in two years and exports fell by more than expected, suggesting the crisis is increasingly impinging on Europe’s strongest economy.
Investor concerns about Spain’s financial sector were highlighted on Thursday when Fitch Ratings downgraded its sovereign rating for Spain by three notches to triple-B with negative outlook, citing the urgent need for bank recapitalization.
On Friday, sources told Reuters that Spain was likely to ask for aid for its banks from the European Union as soon as Saturday. A Spanish government spokesperson said the government was not aware of this.
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in Aprilto $50.1 billion, according to the Commerce Department. Analysts had expected a slightly smaller trade gap of $49.5 billion. Exports slipped 0.8 percent to $182.9 billion. Both imports and exports were still the second highest on record.
McDonald's slumped after the fast-food leader and Dow component said global same-store sales rose a disappointing 3.3 percent in May, hit primarily by weakness outside the U.S.
FedEx Freight announced it will increase shipping rates by 6.9 percent effective July 9th. The package delivery company previously announced increases in shipping rates for FedEx Express and FedEx Ground that were effective on Jan. 2.
Chesapeake announced it will sell its pipeline and related assets in three separate transactions in a deal worth $4 billion, which will help cover a $9 billion to $10 billion funding shortfall in the next three years. The energy company is also scheduled to hold its shareholders meeting later this morning.
The Commerce Department is expected to release wholesale inventories for April at 10 am ET. Economists polled by Briefing.com forecast a rise of 0.5 percent, versus a 0.3 percent rise in March.
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
On Tap Next Week:
MONDAY: Apple WWDC event, Atlanta Fed Pres Lockhart speaks, San Francisco Fed Pres Williams Speaks, Cleveland Fed Pres Pianalto Speaks
TUESDAY: NFIB small biz optimism index, import & export prices, Fed Gov. Tarullo speaks, 3-yr note auction, GM shareholders mtg
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, PPI, retail sales, business inventories, oil inventories, 10-yr note auction, OPEC mtg, Caterpillar shareholders mtg, Dimon testifies before Senate
THURSDAY: CPI, jobless claims, current account, 30-yr bond auction, AOL shareholders mtg; Earnings from Kroger, Smithfield Foods, Pier 1 Imports
FRIDAY: Empire state mfg survey, treasury int'l capital, industrial production, consumer sentiment, credit card default rates reported, quadruple witching
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