NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock index futures were indicating a stronger open on Wall Street Friday on speculation that some form of additional easing will be announced by the European Central Bank at its September meeting next Thursday.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Watch the video below for more on how U.S. markets are doing in premarket trading Friday:
U.S. stocks fell Thursday as investors fretted about renewed geopolitical risks, which also fed into concerns that there have been increased signs of deflationary spiral dangers coming out of Europe.
"If the ECB does refer to quantitative easing, that means more liquidity in the world markets as well. In retrospect we benefit from that in terms of easy money," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.
The S&P is now on track for its biggest monthly gain since February, in many ways a surprise considering the escalation of geopolitical concerns the market was focused on at the beginning of the month. "All of a sudden, those concerns were placed on the sidelines as the economic data continued to show the economy improving. It certainly turned out to be a heck of a lot better than we expected," Cardillo remarked.
Traders bet on renewed economic stimulus from the ECB in the coming weeks following weaker eurozone data. A month-on-month fall of 1.4% in German retail sales in July and continuing falls in Spain, coupled with wholesale price declines in France for industrial and food products, all point to a further decline in inflation. The flash reading of 0.3% for the eurozone consumer price index from Eurostat seemed to confirm that trend.
U.S. personal income rose 0.2% in July, slightly less than the consensus 0.3%, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported before the market open. Spending fell 0.1%. Other data Friday will include Chicago PMI for August at 9:45 a.m. and the final reading on the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for August at 9:55 a.m.
In individual corporate news Friday, Google (GOOGL) is building a fleet of drones to speed up package delivery. Shares were up 0.48% in premarket trading to $583.11. Apple (AAPL) is working with Dutch chipmaker NXP to add secure short-range wireless technology into the next iPhone, enabling new pay-by-touch capabilities, the Financial Times reported. Shares were up 0.56% to $102.82. Big Lots (BIG) was popping 2.01% to $48.15 after reporting second-quarter adjusted earnings of 31 cents a share, higher than theguidance the retailer provided in June.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) plans to seek a buyer for Cordis, its business that makes medical devices including stents and catheters, The Wall Street Journal reported. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.34% to $123.58. The United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.45% to $35.48.
--By Andrea Tse in New York