Tech stocks were in the spotlight on Friday, driven higher in premarket trading by strong earnings that managed to push the tech-heavy Nasdaq into modest gains.
Shares of Amazon ( and )Zynga ( jumped after both companies' sales and earnings reports )beat expectations late Thursday.
And Microsoft ( shares rose after the company reported a rise in quarterly )sales and profits that also trounced Wall Street's forecasts.
U.S. futures and world markets were struggling to pull out of their earlier slump as traders eyed the latest batch of third quarter earnings.
Procter & Gamble ( announced that its sales and profit rose in the quarter, as expected, and their shares slipped in premarket trading. )UPS ( shares rose after the company reported quarterly income that exceeded forecasts. )
It's a relatively light day for economic news. The Census Bureau will release its durable goods orders at 8:30 a.m. ET, while the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters issue their consumer sentiment survey at 9:55.
Major U.S. indexes remain on course for weekly gains. Upbeat earnings reports, along with hopes that the Federal Reserve will delay winding back its massive bond-buying program, have helped buoy stocks.
U.S. stocks finished higher Thursday.
Twitter revealed that it plans to raise upwards of $1.4 billion in its initial public offering, selling 70 million shares at between $17 and $20 per share.
European markets were mostly higher in morning trading, with modest gains after the U.K.'s third quarter GDP report met expectations.
Stocks in Asia were hit by a weaker yen and concerns over tighter liquidity in China. Japan's Nikkei declined 2.8%, while the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng also closed lower.