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U.S. futures higher ahead of earnings reports; Dow Jones up 0.59%

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Shutterstock photo - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Friday, as investors awaited the release of more earnings reports, while global growth worries persisted.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.59% increase, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.69% advance, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.64% gain.

Investors remained cautious as Thursday's downbeat U.S. economic reports added to concerns over the outlook for global growth.

The Philly Fed manufacturing index fell to 1.3 in April from 2.0 last month, compared to expectations for a reading of 3.0, while the Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits last week rose to a seasonally adjusted 352,000, compared to expectations for an increase to 350,000.

Tech stocks were expected to be active, after IBM posted a quarterly earnings miss as the company struggled with the depreciation of the yen, sending shares down 4.47% in pre-market trade.

Google shares rallied 1.34% in early trading, as the group's net revenue grew 23% in the first quarter, easing the effect of a sharp decline in its Motorola mobile phone division.

Separately, a federal judge reportedly threw out Viacom's lawsuit accusing Google of posting its programs on YouTube without permission, a year after a federal appeals court had revived the landmark copyright infringement case.

In addition, Microsoft surged 2.64% pre-market after CEO Peter Klein said he is leaving at the end of June, as the software company struggles with declining personal computer sales.

In M&A news, J.C. Penney Co was reportedly speaking with Wells Fargo about a new loan to help it buttress its cash reserves. Shares in the retailer climbed 0.53% in after-hour trade.

Other stocks in focus included General Electric and McDonald's, due to report earnings later in the day.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.96%, France's CAC 40 jumped 1.22%, Germany's DAX advanced 0.54%, while Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.57%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged 2.33%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index gained 0.73%.

Trading volumes were expected to remain light on Friday, as no major U.S. economic data was to be released. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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