Futures struggled to hold their gains Friday after the euro zone agreed to take a big step forward in economic integration, but failed to deliver a convincing answer to investors worried about its ability to tackle threatening debt crises in Italy and Spain.
Twenty-six of the 27 EU leaders agreed to pursue tighter integration with stricter budget discipline in the single currency area, but Britain said it could not accept proposed EU treaty amendments after failing to secure concessions.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was among those who failed to agree terms with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Cameron added Britain would never joined the single currency, a statement which was immediately criticized elsewhere in Brussels.
With Britain, the EU's third biggest economy, opting out of the fiscal process, questions about the cohesiveness of the wider bloc will be posed.
Meanwhile, ratings agency Moody's downgraded the debt of a handful of large European banks, saying their creditworthiness was being hurt by the fragile operating environment for European banks.
On the economic front, U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October to $43.5 billion, its lowest in 10 months, according to the Commerce Department. The result was in line with Reuters estimates. However, September trade deficit was revised to $44.2 billion from $43.1 billion.