Futures Point towards a Strong Start, Sentiment Boosted by Germany’s Ifo Index

U.S. stock futures pointed towards a higher start on Friday, taking cue from European equities which gained as market sentiment turned upbeat following a release of better than expected economic data from Germany while in the U.S. a data release on new home sales will be keenly anticipated.

At last check, futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average Index gained 0.32%; those on NASDAQ 100 edged up 0.36% while futures on S&P 500 Index added 0.22%.

The U.S. Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on new home sales for December at 10:00 a.m. EST. According Thomson Reuters, economists are expecting new home sales climbing to 385,000 units from 377,000 in November.

In Germany, the Ifo Index, a gauge on business sentiment, showed a surprise jump. Following the data release the euro jumped to nearly 12 months high against the U.S. dollar.

Earnings calendar isn’t very heavy on Friday but some prominent names such as Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG), Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL), Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON).

Shares of software giant, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) will under spotlight on Friday. Even though Company’s revenue in Windows division rose 24 percent from the year earlier quarter, investors were disappointed on Thursday after software giant’s quarterly earnings barely managed to beat Wall Street’s expectation while overall revenue fell short of analysts’ consensus estimate.  Shares slipped in premarket trading.

Shares of world’s largest coffee chain, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) gained 4% in premarket trade. The Company following closing bell on Thursday reported that same-store-sales in the U.S. and Asia Pacific grew a robust pace while earnings for the latest quarter grew by 13%. EPS was in line with expectation.

In Asia markets ended mixed with Nikkei leaping 2.88% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng inched lower 0.08%. In Europe, all leading benchmark indexes were trading higher, at last check.




Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.