Stock Futures Mixed After Trade Data; Apple Rises

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were trading mixed Friday as investors showed little reaction to the latest U.S. trade data. Apple ( AAPL) shares gained ground.

Weather alerts also were in focus, as the National Weather Service warned that the Northeast and New England is expected to be impacted by a major winter storm Friday and into Saturday. As much as one to two feet of snow is forecast for the New York City metro area to Maine.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were falling 11 points, or 6.05 points below fair value, at 13,887. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 0.25 points, or 0.54 points below fair value, at 1505. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 5.25 points, or 4.05 points above fair value, at 2747.

Apple ( AAPL) shares gained 0.61% to $471.07 on Friday, just a day after David Einhorn asked shareholders to vote against the company's proposal to do away with preferred stock.

Major U.S. equity indices closed lower Thursday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned of risks to the eurozone economy, and U.S. economic data came in weaker than expected.

A note from optionsXpress said that a break above the resistance level of 1509 in the SPX could "pressure the new shorts" and potentially catalyze the market to the best levels of the week.

Right now though "nibbling on dips is all that would be appropriate if you might be looking to participate on the long side and when there are whippy extremes in either direction, might be worth potentially looking at out-of-the-money credit strategies at those levels, since volatility could be rising," the optionsXpress note said.

The Census Bureau said Friday that the U.S. trade deficit shrank to $38.5 billion in December from $48.7 billion in November. Economists were expecting the deficit to shrink to $46 billion.

The Census Bureau at 10 a.m. is expected to report that wholesale inventories rose 0.4% in December after increasing 0.6% in November.

Asian markets closed mostly higher Friday following strong trade data from China. The Nikkei in Japan was an exception, however, finishing down 1.8% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 0.16%.

The DAX in Frankfurt was higher by 0.22% and the FTSE in London was rising 0.49%, as European markets digested the China data and as peripheral bond yields fell.

Gold for April delivery was down by 60 cents at $1,670.70 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while March crude oil futures were up 25 cents at $96.08 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 4/32, diluting the yield to 1.943%. The dollar was down 0.19%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

In corporate news, LinkedIn ( LNKD), the social network geared for professionals, beat Wall Street's earnings expectations. Shares were surging more than 10%.

Coinstar ( CSTR), which owns the owns the Redbox DVD kiosks, said fourth-quarter profit declined 27% due to poor performance at its new ventures. Shares were sliding more than 7.5%.

U.S. electronics retailer RadioShack ( RSH ) announced that Walgreen ( WAG ) executive Joseph Magnacca has been appointed CEO of the company. Magnacca served as president of Duane Reade from July 2010 to April 2011. Shares were gaining more than 5%.

AOL ( AOL) said that its fourth-quarter revenue grew year over year, making for the first quarterly increase in eight years as global advertising revenue rose. Shares were popping more than 6.5%.

Activision Blizzard ( ATVI), the maker of video game "Call of Duty," posted fourth-quarter earnings that topped analysts' estimates as revenue jumped 26% to $1.77 billion. Shares were jumping more than 8.5%.

Activision said Thursday it expects first-quarter adjusted earnings of 10 cents a share on revenue of $690 million. Analysts expect earnings of 9 cents a share on revenue of $693.5 million.

Moody's ( MCO) posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations by a penny, and better-than-expected revenue. Its full-year outlook also topped estimates, as the rating agency benefited from an increase in global corporate bond issuances.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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