Stock futures drift ahead of report on home sales

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures were little changed Friday, ahead of a new report on the housing market. Major indexes look ready to close out the week with solid gains.

KEEPING SCORE: Less than an hour before the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up six points to 16,535. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures rose one point to 1,891 while Nasdaq 100 futures added five points to 3,653.

Major indexes rose Thursday and have finished higher in four of the last five trading days. The S&P 500, the most widely used benchmark for stock funds, has climbed 0.8 percent this week.

Stock and bond markets will be closed Monday for Memorial Day.

HOUSING: Shortly after the market opens Friday, the Commerce Department will release its latest report on sales of new houses. Economists forecast that sales rose 10.7 percent to an annual rate of 425,000 last month, according to FactSet. New-home buying slumped in March, the second straight monthly decline, but median prices climbed to $290,000.

RUN UP: Foot Locker said Friday that its quarterly earnings climbed 17 percent thanks to stronger sales and wider profit margins. The shoe store's results topped Wall Street's expectations for both profit and revenue, sending the company's shares up 3 percent before the opening bell Friday. Foot Locker was up $1.38 to $49.55.

EUROPE: Most major European markets barely moved Friday. In Germany, the DAX rose 0.2 percent, and in France, the CAC 40 edged up 0.1 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 shed 0.2 percent

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year note slipped to 2.54 percent from 2.55 percent late Thursday. Crude oil rose 22 cents to $103.96. Gold fell $5.90 to $1,289.10 an ounce.