Stock futures edge higher ahead of opening bell

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures are up slightly ahead of the opening bell Friday. After taking a hard hit in the middle of the week, major indexes could close it out with a slight loss.

KEEPING SCORE: Shortly before the market opens, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 14 points to 16,435. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures have edged up two points to 1,870 and Nasdaq composite futures are up six points to 3,569.

HOUSING MARKET: The Commerce Department said builders started work on more houses in April, as construction surged to its highest pace in six months. But almost all of that increase came from new apartment buildings, a sign that Americans are still struggling to buy single-family houses.

HEY, ABBOTT: Abbott Laboratories plans to acquire fellow drugmaker CFR Pharmaceuticals for roughly $2.9 billion, in an effort to expand its reach in Latin America. Abbott rose 31 cents to $39.55 in premarket trading.

EUROPE: France's CAC 40 was unchanged, while Germany's DAX slipped 0.4 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 eased 0.1 percent.

ASIA: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock sank 1.4 percent. In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.2 percent, while on the mainland, the Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1 percent.

OTHER MARKETS: U.S. government bonds barely moved in early trading Friday. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury was 2.51 percent, up from 2.49 percent late Thursday. Gold fell $2.50 to $1,291.10 an ounce. Crude oil rose 16 cents to $101.66.