Stock Futures Point Higher, P&G Pops

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Mogavero told TheStreet Thursday evening that she was expecting a little bit of consolidation before probably a move higher barring any bad news out of Europe or China. The U.S. macro picture seemed "pretty stable," she said.

Apple (AAPL) shares were back in positive territory in premarket trading, up 0.67%, after their steep decline the prior session on a disappointing quarterly announcement.

At 10 a.m. EST, the Census Bureau is expected by economists, on average, to report that new-home sales increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 385,000 in December from 377,000.

"With homebuilders' sales expectations strong, we think that new home sales rose further last month," said Paul Diggle, an economist at Capital Economics.

The European markets were higher on the LTRO announcement and encouraging German Ifo data. The DAX in Frankfurt was rising 1.29% while trading action was more subdued in London, with the FTSE up 0.17% after weaker-than-expected data on UK fourth-quarter GDP.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed down by 0.08% on some profit taking and the Nikkei in Japan advanced 2.88% on an easing yen currency.

Gold for February delivery was falling $5.10 at $1,664.80 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while March crude oil futures were rising 37 cents at $96.32 a barrel.

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The benchmark 10-year Treasury was slumping by 17/32, raising the yield to 1.917%. The dollar was dipping by 0.19%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

In corporate news, Microsoft (MSFT) received a boost in its fiscal second quarter from its server & tools division and Windows 8 licenses, helping it post earnings that topped Wall Street expectations. Shares were off 0.76%.

Honeywell(HON) posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results Friday as the conglomerate strived to increase its profit margins.

E*Trade Financial (ETFC) shares were slumping by more than 2.5% after the company reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss and a disappointing revenue number as daily average revenue trades declined.

AT&T(T) posted a narrower loss in the fourth quarter as Apple's(AAPL) iPhone helped generate record smartphone sales.

Starbucks(SBUX) , the coffee chain, said Thursday that fiscal first-quarter profit rose 13% and global same-store sales in the quarter rose 6%. Shares were popping more than 3.5%.

Cisco(CSCO) reached an agreement to sell its home networking business unit, including the Linksys router brand, to privately held Belkin, a maker of smartphone cases and computing accessories. Cisco shares were up 0.48%.

A purchase price for the deal, which is expected to close in March, wasn't disclosed.

Select Comfort (SCSS) shares were plunging by more than 14.5% after the bed manufacturer and retailer posted earnings that missed estimates.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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