Stock index futures were pointing to another down day for Wall Street on Friday, with technology shares pressured by a weak earnings report from PC maker Dell.
Dell shares fell more than 6 percent before hours after it reported on Thursday earnings that were short of estimates. The other high profile Thursday afternoon earnings report came from retailer Gap, whose numbers were in line with consensus. Software maker Intuit was also out with its numbers, reporting a smaller than expected loss.
Dow component Procter & Gamble saw its shares slip about 1 percent in premarket trading after CNBC reported that the company was targeting a share repurchase of less than $8 billion.
Another strong day for the US currency was pressuring stocks, as the dollar index rose about 0.6 percent. The strong-dollar weak-stocks trade has been in full force all week. Commodity prices also were lower, with oil off about $1 a barrel below $76.50 and gold falling more than $5 to approach $1,130 an ounce.
Despite a rough week for the markets, optimism remained; JPMorgan upped its target for the Standard & Poor's 500 to 1,160 though it noted that many investors were likely to go into "hibernation" as 2009 comes to a close.
Investors will watch shares of GE and Comcast after the Financial Times reported that GE and Vivendiare $1 billion apart on valuing Vivendi's stake inNBC Universal.
The sale of Vivendi's stake in NBCU is a key component of any potential deal for Comcast to buy a 51 percent controlling stake in NBCU, the parent of CNBC.