U.S. stocks look set to close out a bumpy first month of 2014 in the red, with corporate earnings again in the limelight.
U.S. stock futures were sharply lower ahead of the open.
Heading into the final day of January, investors will again be focused on earnings. Firms including Chevron (, )MasterCard ( and )Tyson Foods ( are scheduled to release quarterly results before the opening bell. )
Investors are also waiting for the U.S. Commerce Department to release its monthly report on personal income and spending at 8:30 a.m. ET. At 9:55 a.m., the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters will release the latest edition of their Consumer Sentiment Index.
Currency markets might also be a bit more volatile than normal, said FxPro chief economist Simon Smith, as big investors adjust their positions at month end.
"This can create some choppy trading conditions and the risks are a little greater after the volatility seen this week, primarily from emerging markets," he said
What's moving: Google ( shares rose in premarket trading, after falling initially in response to )fourth-quarter results results released late Thursday.
The recovery came during the company's conference call with analysts, which some said was due to Google's plan to a new class of shares through a stock split set to take place this spring.
Microsoft ( shares ticked up slightly following )a Bloomberg report that the company is preparing to name executive vice president Satya Nadella as its next CEO.
Chipotle ( shares rose following )strong fourth-quarter results.
Zynga ( shares soared 16% before the bell after the social gaming company announced )a new round of job cuts and posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss.
European markets were trading lower after a choppy session Thursday. Most Asian markets were closed Friday for the Lunar New Year holiday. In Japan, the Nikkei closed down 0.6%. India's Sensex was stable.