5 Things You Should Know Before the Stock Market Opens

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a mixed open on Wall Street on Friday amid weak U.S. economic data and despite positive U.S. earnings.

European shares were moving lower Friday. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.4% to 8,669.87 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.4%.

In the U.S. on Thursday, the major equity averages finished with mild gains Thursday as a technology rally led by IBM offset a weak batch of economic data. Weekly jobless claims in the U.S. rose 34,000 to a three-week high of 386,000 and an indicator of regional manufacturing came in much weaker than anticipated.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added nearly 35 points, or 0.27%, to close Thursday at 12,943. The blue-chip index, which has risen in four of the past five sessions, is now up 5.9% year to date.


The economic calendar in the U.S. is empty on Friday.


General Electric is expected by analysts Friday to post second-quarter profit of 37 cents a share in the June-ended period on revenue of $36.79 billion.

The industrial conglomerate and Dow component has topped Wall Street's consensus view in seven of the past eight quarters, beating the estimate by an average of 8.6% in those instances.


Google , the Internet search giant, reported Thursday second-quarter non-GAAP earnings of $3.35 billion, or $10.12 a share, on revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs of $8.36 billion. Analysts were looking for a profit of $10.04 a share on revenue of $8.41 billion.

Microsoft posted Thursday a non-GAAP quarterly profit of $6.93 billion, or 73 cents a share, for its fiscal fourth quarter on revenue of $18.06 billion. Analysts were looking for earnings of 62 cents a share on revenue of $18.13 billion.

Microsoft, the software giant, saw strong growth in its server and tools business in the quarter.


A masked gunman in Aurora, Colo., killed 14 people and injured 50 others at an early Friday showing of new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," according to reports.

Denver's' KOA radio station said a figure in a gas mask had opened fire at the showing in a mall in the Denver suburb of Aurora and set off a smoke or tear gas bomb, according to reports from CNN and Reuters.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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