Stock Futures Mixed After Trade Data; Apple Rises
Weather alerts also were in focus, as the National Weather Service warned that the Northeast and New England is expected to be impacted by a major winter storm Friday and into Saturday. As much as one to two feet of snow is forecast for the New York City metro area to Maine.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were falling 11 points, or 6.05 points below fair value, at 13,887. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 0.25 points, or 0.54 points below fair value, at 1505. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 5.25 points, or 4.05 points above fair value, at 2747.
Major U.S. equity indices closed lower Thursday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned of risks to the eurozone economy, and U.S. economic data came in weaker than expected.
A note from optionsXpress said that a break above the resistance level of 1509 in the SPX could "pressure the new shorts" and potentially catalyze the market to the best levels of the week.
Right now though "nibbling on dips is all that would be appropriate if you might be looking to participate on the long side and when there are whippy extremes in either direction, might be worth potentially looking at out-of-the-money credit strategies at those levels, since volatility could be rising," the optionsXpress note said.
The Census Bureau said Friday that the U.S. trade deficit shrank to $38.5 billion in December from $48.7 billion in November. Economists were expecting the deficit to shrink to $46 billion.
The Census Bureau at 10 a.m. is expected to report that wholesale inventories rose 0.4% in December after increasing 0.6% in November.
Asian markets closed mostly higher Friday following strong trade data from China. The Nikkei in Japan was an exception, however, finishing down 1.8% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 0.16%.
The DAX in Frankfurt was higher by 0.22% and the FTSE in London was rising 0.49%, as European markets digested the China data and as peripheral bond yields fell.
Gold for April delivery was down by 60 cents at $1,670.70 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while March crude oil futures were up 25 cents at $96.08 a barrel.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 4/32, diluting the yield to 1.943%. The dollar was down 0.19%, according to the U.S. dollar index.