Futures Point to Weak Open; Gold Jumps

Futures were off their worst levels Friday, but were still lower, pressured by losses in Asia and Europe and many investors concerned the world economy is on the brink of another recession.

European stocks approached two-year lows after already suffering heavy losses on Thursday.

Fears that euro zone leaders would not be able to contain the debt crisis weighed on stocks, as did concerns over funding for European banks.

Commodities also suffered, with oil prices lower amid concerns over global growth. Meanwhile gold continued to rally, touching new highs.

Hewlett-Packard declined sharply after the IT giant said it was considering a spinoff of its PC business and had struck a deal to buy UK software maker Autonomy. In addition, the Dow component also posted earnings that met expectations, but slashed its full-year forecast.

HP's weak forecast comes after rival Dell's lowered its revenue outlook earlier this week that dragged down both stocks. At least two firms lowered their rating on HP.

Meanwhile, Marvell Technology jumped after the chipmaker posted a surprisingly strong quarter.

Bank of America amid news the bank will cut 3,500 positions, according to the Wall Street Journal, joining the parade of banks including HSBC that have axed thousands of jobs.

Among retailers, Gap was flat after the clothing chain posted profit that beat forecasts even as same-store sales fell. However, the CEO warned consumer sentiment may disappoint in the second half of the year and was cautious about future sales growth. Meanwhile, Wedbush cut its price target on the firm to $17 from $19.

Meanwhile, Ann (Ann Taylor) gained after the women's clothing retailer reported a bigger-than-expected profit and gave an upbeat forecast for the current quarter.

On Tap Next Week:

MONDAY: Chicago Fed Nat'l Activity Index
TUESDAY: New home sales, Richmond Fed Business Activity Survey, 2-Yr Note Auction; Earnings from Heinz
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, durable goods orders, oil inventories, 5-yr note auction; Earnings from Toll Brothers, Applied Materials, TiVo
THURSDAY: Weekly jobless claims, 7-yr note auction, Medtronic shareholders mtg, USDA food prices outlook; Earnings from Hormel, Pandora
FRIDAY: GDP, corproate profits, consumer sentiment, Bernanke speaks, short-sale bans expire; Earnings from Tiffany

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