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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher start for Wall Street on Friday ahead of housing market data and earnings from consumer products giant Procter & Gamble(PG) .

European stocks were trading mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index hit a 32-month high Friday as the yen continued to retreat against the dollar. The index surged 2.9%.


The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes new-home sales data for December at 10 a.m. EST. Economists, according to Reuters, forecast a total of 385,000 annualized units, compared with 377,000 in November.


U.S. stocks on Thursday ended mixed Thursday as better-than-expected U.S. economic indicators failed to push the Nasdaq back into positive territory amid a sharp price decline in Apple(AAPL) .

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 46 points, or 0.33%, to 13,825.

The S&P 500 ended flat at 1495. The Nasdaq fell 23 points, or 0.74%, to 3130.


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.

The software giant earned 76 cents a share on a GAAP basis during the quarter on revenue of $21.46 billion. Analysts were expecting profit of 75 cents a share on revenue of $21.5 billion.


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% as global same-store sales jumped 6%.


Procter & Gamble is expected by Wall Street Friday to post fiscal second-quarter earnings of $1.11 a share on revenue of $21.91 billion.

Honeywell(HON) is expected by analysts to report fourth-quarter earnings Friday of $1.09 a share on revenue of $9.51 billion.

Halliburton(HAL) is expected to post fourth-quarter earnings of 61 cents a share.


Samsung Electronics said quarterly profit soared 76%, boosted by the popularity of its Galaxy smartphones, which outsold the iPhone for a fourth straight quarter.


Morgan Stanley(MS) CEO James Gorman will get a pay cut for 2012, The Associated Press reported, citing a person familiar with the situation.

The bank plans to trim Gorman's pay from its 2011 level due to a lackluster stock performance and other corporate growth measurements, AP said.

According to an AP analysis, Gorman's compensation package totaled $13 million in 2011.


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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