NEW YORK (
) -- Stock futures pointed to a slightly weaker open on Friday, the final trading day of the year, as market-watchers anticipated that the strong December rally would keep the major U.S. indices on track to post double-digit gains for 2010.
Futures for the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
were down by 17 points, or 3 points below fair value, at 11,505. Futures for the
were 2 points lower, or nearly a point below fair value, at 1253, and
futures were off by 2 points, or nearly 2 points below fair value.
Stocks dipped Thursday despite a steep drop in initial jobless claims as investors sought to milk profits from better-than-expected economic news.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.8% and Japan's Nikkei was closed. The FTSE in London, where exchanges will finish the year with a shortened session, was down 0.6% while the DAX in Frankfurt was closed.
With no economic releases scheduled for Friday's session, a day before the new year, trading volumes are expected to be particularly light.
Shares of mobile broadband company
were up 0.4% to $5.24 ahead of Friday's opening bell following news that
Chairman Craig McCaw resigned
. According to a regulatory filing, McCaw's decision wasn't related to any disagreements with the company.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service
plans to operate in more than 2,000
(WMT - Get Report)
stores in the coming tax season, expanding its presence by 10% from last year's level.
In commodity markets, the February crude oil contract traded 32 cents lower at $89.52 a barrel. The February gold contract was ahead by $7.10 to trade at $1,413 an ounce.
The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies with the dollar index down by 0.6%. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note strengthened 3/32, lifting the yield to 3.369%.
--Written by Melinda Peer in New York