Investors ready to wrap up a quiet week

August 17, 2012: 8:46 AM ET
Investors ready to wrap up a quiet week
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

U.S. stocks were poised for a mixed start Friday as investors close the books on a quiet trading week.

U.S. stock futures were mostly flat.

Companies, including retailer Foot Locker (FL) and food producer J.M. Smucker (SJM), reported their quarterly results Friday morning. The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and the Conference Board's leading indicators reading will be released just after the open.

Trading volume has been low over the past few days, with vacation season at its height and little news out of Europe.

U.S. stocks closed higher Thursday following strong earnings from Cisco Systems (CSCO) and a mixed bag of economic data.

Fear & Greed Index

World Markets: European stocks rose slightly in midday trading. Britain's FTSE 100 ticked up 0.1%, the DAX in Germany added 0.2% and France's CAC 40 was flat.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated late Thursday that European policymakers are committed to doing everything they can to support the euro, reigniting hope for further central bank action.

Asian markets ended higher. The Shanghai Composite closed up 0.1%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong and Japan's Nikkei gained 0.8%.

What is the CFPB?

Economy: At 9:55 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan will release the preliminary August reading of its Consumer Sentiment Index. The reading is expected to come in at 72.2, down slightly from July's 72.3.

At 10 a.m. ET, the Conference Board will release its index of leading economic indicators for July, which is expected to have increased by 0.2%.

Companies: Foot Locker's second-quarter earnings beat forecasts, sending shares of the athletic wear retailer up more than 5% in premarket trading.

J.M. Smucker reported earnings of $1 per share on $1.3 billion in revenue, topping analyst expectations.

Facebook (FB) shares rose slightly in premarket trading Friday. The stock fell 6.3% Thursday as the social media company's "lock-up period" for company insiders expired. More than 150 million shares changed hands, pushing the stock down as much as 7% to an all-time intraday low.

Shares of Electronic Arts (EA) and Redbox-parent Coinstar (CSTR) extended gains in premarket trading Friday on takeover speculation. The New York Post reported that both companies are targets for private equity firms.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar lost ground against the euro, but picked up against the British pound and Japanese yen.

Oil for September delivery fell 75 cents to $95.53 a barrel.

Gold futures for December delivery lost 9 cents to $1,614.60 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 1.84% from 1.81% late Thursday.

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