U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wall Street on Friday, with stocks set to stage a rebound after falling on Thursday's weak economic data. (Get the latest futures reading).
Two economic reports on Thursday showed Chinese and U.S. factory output slowing.
U.S manufacturing grew at its slowest pace in 11 months in June and the number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits fell only slightly in the week.
Moody's Investors Service downgraded the credit ratings of 15 of the world's largest banks late on Thursday.
The bank downgrades by Moody's had however been anticipated for several months after the ratings agency placed them on its watch list with a negative outlook and analysts said the move was "backward looking".
In Europe, equity markets (FTSE International: .FTEU3) looked set to round off another bad week on Friday with little for investors to rally behind.
German business sentiment fell for a second straight month in June to its lowest level in over two years, revealing the strain of the crisis in the euro zone on its largest economy.
European finance ministers met in Luxembourg to discuss how to channel financial aid to Spanish lenders which have suffered bad debts as a result of the collapse of the domestic property market.
Meanwhile, the leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Spain will meet in Rome on Friday in a bid to restore confidence in the euro zone ahead of a full EU summit next week.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to find herself outnumbered.at the meeting as the four look for a practical way to achieve banking and fiscal union.
She is expected to resist any pressure from Italian prime minister Mario Monti, French president Francois Hollande and Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy for less stringent euro zone fiscal policies or the issuance of common euro zone bonds.
There are no major U.S. economic reports due for release on Friday.
Carnival and Darden Restaurants are the only companies to report earnings. Both report before the open.
In corporate news, Microsoft (MSFT) is considering making its own smartphone, according to veteran Wall Street analyst Rick Sherlund of Nomura.
Microsoft has not confirmed or denied Sherlund's assertion, which comes just after it unveiled its Windows Phone 8 software and its own tablet computer.
Ryder (R) cut its quarterly earnings forecast in response to falling demand for commercial rental services. The truck leasing company said it would cut costs and cut its rental fleet on expectations that weakness will continue throughout the year.
Monster Beverage will replace Sara Lee (SLE) in the S&P 500 index after the close of trading on June 28. Sara Lee will spin off its international coffee and tea business and change its name to Hillshire Brands. Hillshire stock will move to the S&P MidCap 400.
Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) (JNJ) blood clot drug Xarelto has been rejected by the Food and Drugs Administration for wider use. J&J had applied for approval to use Xarelto to reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients with acute coronary syndrome.
Wynn Resorts (WYNN) has won a court decision that takes its legal battle with Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada back to Nevada state court.
The court had originally blocked Okada's attempts to access Wynn's financial records in the ongoing battle between the two sides.
And a bankruptcy court judge has postponed his decision on a request by American Airlines parent AMR (AAMRQ) to reject its union agreements. The ruling had been scheduled for Thursday but will now come on June 29. The delay had been requested by both sides in hopes of working out an agreement.
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