Market Hustle: U.S. Futures Decline as Investors Struggle to Find Reasons to Buy

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to declines Friday, as international markets stalled on evidence of a slowdown in economic. Fourth-quarter earnings reports were struggling to bring investors out of their slump.

  • S&P 500 futures were slipping 13.25 points, or 11.56 points below fair value, to 1,811, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were retreating 113 points, or 93.35 points below fair value, to 16,038, Nasdaq futures were down 25 points, or 17.61 points below fair value, to 3,588.8.

  • Markets sold off sharply Thursday on signs that Chinese manufacturing activity shrank in January and amid a broad-based decline in a U.S. manufacturing index. In addition, McDonald's gave a mediocre global forecast.

  • S&P Capital IQ said that of the 100 companies that have given guidance this earnings season, 80 have been negative, 10 have been positive and 10 were in-line. This produces a negative-to-positive ratio of 8, higher than the 15-year average.

  • The FTSE 100 was down 0.83%, and the DAX was off 0.87%. The Nikkei 225 declined 1.94%, while the Hang Seng slid 1.25%.

  • Consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble is expected by Wall Street on Friday to report fiscal second-quarter earnings of $1.20 a share on revenue of $22.33 billion.

  • Microsoft reported fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue that topped estimates. Shares were jumping 3.18% to $37.20 in premarket trading.

  • Starbucks said fourth-quarter profit rose by 25%. Its share price was up 1.31% to $74.35.

  • The U.S. economic calendar on Friday is empty.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.