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Stocks' oil worries
Futures lower as crude continues rebound; disappointing Dell guidance, PPI anxiety also weigh on stocks.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Stocks could find themselves under pressure from rising oil prices in early trading Friday.

U.S. stock futures were down, indicating a lower open for U.S. markets,

Oil prices rose over the $59 a barrel mark, continuing the rebound after the Venezuelan oil minister said late Thursday that OPEC should look to cut production and rhetoric picked up between France and Iran over Iran's nuclear program.

The March light crude futures contract for NYMEX gained $1.03 to $59.49 a barrel in electronic trading, while the April contract for Brent crude rose $1.30 to $60.09.

Also weighing on stocks will be disappointing outlook from computer maker Dell (Research), which posted better-than-expected earnings after the close but saw its shares slip slightly after hours.

Major markets in Asia closed mixed Friday. Japan's Nikkei lost ground on a higher yen due to expectations that better-than-forecast growth in the Japanese economy will prompt the Bank of Japan to raise interest rates. But that helped some other Asian markets, as Hong Kong's Hang Seng and Korea's Kopsi gained.

Major European markets were slightly higher in early trading.

The government report on inflation on the wholesale level will be the key economic reading Friday. The Producer Price Index is forecast to be up 0.2 percent for January after a 0.6 percent rise in December, according to economists surveyed by Briefing.com. The core PPI, which excludes food and energy, is also expected to post a 0.2 percent rise, although that's higher than a 0.1 percent rise in December.

Treasury prices were little changed, leaving the yield on the benchmark 10-year note around 4.58 percent. The dollar was lower against the yen but up against the euro.

In other corporate news, the Wall Street Journal reported that financier Carl Icahn has given up his plan to seek control of media company Time Warner (Research). Icahn, who leads a group that controls just over 3 percent of the media conglomerate stock, apparently won't field a full slate of candidates for the Time Warner board, according to the paper. CNNMoney.com is a unit of Time Warner.

For a more detailed look at the markets before the open, click hereTop of page

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