Stock index futures pointed to a fractionally higher open on Wall Street on Friday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.2 percent, and contracts on the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 up 0.1 percent at 4.28 a.m. EDT.
European shares fell and Japan's Nikkei share average <.N225> slipped to a fresh two-month low on Friday on concerns that this quarterly earnings season would be weak due to sluggish global growth.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo kick off the U.S. bank earnings season when they report third-quarter results at 6 a.m. EDT and 7 a.m. EDT, respectively.
Both banks are forecast to post an increase of roughly 20 percent in their earnings per share, also thanks to a home loan refinancing boom. JPMorgan's CEO Jamie Dimon may be asked about reports that the bank's chief financial officer, Doug Braunstein, might step down and take another position with the bank.
Japanese wireless service provider Softbank Corp <9984.T> is looking to buy about 70 percent of Sprint Nextel Corp
The Labor Department releases the producer price index for September at 8.30 a.m. EDT. The pace of gains is expected to have eased to 0.7 percent after August's 1.7 percent increase, the biggest in three years. Underlying inflation pressures are expected to remain contained, with wholesale prices excluding food and energy costs notching only a 0.2 percent gain.
A key report on U.S. consumer sentiment will be released at 9.55 a.m. EDT and, in light of last week's unexpected drop in the unemployment rate, economists will be watching to see if Americans' views of the labor market also improved. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers preliminary reading for consumer sentiment is expected to dip to 78 in early October after reaching a four-month high of 78.3 in September.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 18.58 points, or 0.14 percent, to 13,326.39 on Thursday. The S&P 500 <.SPX> edged up 0.28 point, or 0.02 percent, to 1,432.84. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dipped 2.37 points, or 0.08 percent, to 3,049.41.
Tech giant Apple
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)