March 30, 2012 / 9:38 AM / 6 years ago

Stock index futures slightly higher

Stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wall Street on Friday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.3 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.4 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.2 percent at 1007 GMT.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 27, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

European stocks rose in early trade on Friday as bargain hunters jumped in following a sharp three-session drop, betting that euro zone finance ministers will agree to double the region’s bailout funds in a meeting later in the day.

Japan’s Nikkei .N225 share average closed down 0.3 percent, falling for a third straight session as investors pocketed gains from the strongest first-quarter rally in 24 years, while the market waited on key global events next week for direction.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and its main contract manufacturer Foxconn agreed to tackle violations of conditions among the 1.2 million workers assembling iPhones and iPads in a landmark decision that could change the way Western companies do business in China.

Google Inc (GOOG.O) is planning to open an online store to sell tablet PCs directly to consumers, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

EBay Inc (EBAY.O) named mobile technology entrepreneur David Marcus president of its PayPal unit on Thursday, replacing Scott Thompson, who left in January to become chief executive of Yahoo Inc YHOO.O.

At least four analysts slashed their price targets on Research in Motion RIM.TO RIMM.O after the Canadian company said BlackBerry shipments slumped for its holiday quarter.

Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) is aiming to offer an integrated video service for its wireless customers, its FiOS customers and its cable partners as soon as this holiday season, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing the telephone company’s chief executive.

Telecom equipment maker Avaya Corp may have to push out its initial public offering to 2013 amid fierce competition for investor attention from hot technology properties like Facebook Inc.

The cost of developing and building Lockheed Martin Corp’s (LMT.N) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter rose 4.3 percent to $395.7 billion last year and the plane will not reach full-rate production until 2019, two years later than planned, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) on Thursday won dismissal of a lawsuit by investors who wanted the bank to buy back mortgage loans that underlie more than $1.06 billion of securities.

Executives of U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N) are due to take their Indian charm offensive to the capital, New Delhi, on Friday, sources said, after courting business leaders and holding their first annual board meeting in the country.

Commerce Department releases February personal income and consumption data at 1230 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 0.4 percent rise in income and a 0.6 percent increase in spending.

The Institute of Supply Management Chicago releases the March index of manufacturing activity at 1345 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a reading of 63.0 compared with 64.0 in February.

Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers release a final March consumer sentiment index at 1355 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 74.7 compared with 74.3 in the preliminary March report.

Commerce Dept issues annual benchmark revisions to U.S. wholesale inventories and sales through January 2012 at 1400 GMT. In January, wholesale inventories rose 0.4 percent, and sale fell 0.1 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 19.61 points, or 0.15 percent, to 13,145.82 at the close on Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX slipped 2.26 points, or 0.16 percent, to 1,403.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC shed 9.60 points, or 0.31 percent, to 3,095.36.

Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Mark Potter

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