A handful of new economic reports are on tap Friday, along with corporate results from the tail end of earnings season.
U.S. stock futures were little changed.
Even after recent dips, the Dow is still within 1.6% of its all-time high, hit in October 2007, and the S&P 500 is about 4% shy of its record high, also set in October 2007. All three indexes are up between 5% and 7% for the year.
A monthly report from the New York branch of the Federal Reserve showed that manufacturing in the state picked up last month. The Census Bureau will publish data on industrial production later in the morning, while the University of Michigan will release a report on consumer sentiment.
On the corporate front, investors have more earnings results to take in Friday.
About 65% of the companies in the S&P 500 that had reported fourth-quarter earnings as of Thursday topped analysts' expectations, according to S&P Capital IQ. But the bulk of companies that have issued guidance for the first quarter have had negative outlooks.
Burger King ( reported earnings that beat expectations. Shares rose more than 3% in premarket trading. Meanwhile, )Kraft Foods ( posted weaker-than-expected revenue, sending shares lower. )
Shares of nutritional supplements company Herbalife ( surged more than 20% after activist investor )Carl Icahn disclosed a 13% stake in the firm on Thursday.
Carnival ( shares slid 1% as the company's )Triumph cruise ship docked and passengers were finally able to leave, just days after a fire and power outage left the ship and 3,000 passengers stranded at sea.
U.S. stocks finished mostly flat Thursday as concerns about the European economy weighed on sentiment.