Stock Futures Dip as 2010 Winds Down

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- 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 S&P 500 were 2 points lower, or nearly a point below fair value, at 1253, and Nasdaq 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 Clearwire ( CLWR) 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 ( JTX) plans to operate in more than 2,000 Wal-Mart ( WMT) 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.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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