Stock futures crept higher on Friday as investors tried to make sense of an uncertain future in the U.K. after Thursday's election resulted in a likely hung Parliament.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.1%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 0.13%, and Nasdaq futures rose 0.02%.
The shock general election in the U.K. failed to earn a majority for the ruling Conservative Party, headed by Prime Minister Theresa May. The election delivered no majority for any party, though the Conservatives did remain the largest with the greatest number of seats.
However, in comments following the election, May announced that her Conservative Party will form a government with the Democratic Unionist Party. May said she had the legitimacy to form a government as her party won the most seats, 318, in Thursday's snap election, but failed to reach the 326 seats needed for a majority. Combined with Northern Ireland's DUP 10 seats, it brings the Conservatives over the top to form a government.
May provided no insight into whether there will be a formal coalition between the Conservatives and the DUP or if they will operate a "confidence and supply arrangement, whereby the DUP would support a minority government on vital matters in return for some of their policies being enacted.
The lack of a decisive victory for the Conservatives also called into question how the U.K. will negotiate its exit from the European Union. May, one of the major forces behind the initial negotiations, had called for the election to shore up the party's position ahead of Brexit negotiations.
"Political uncertainty has increased," Barclays analysts wrote in a note. "The British negotiators will head to Brussels without a clear agenda as consensus within Parliament regarding the type of Brexit remains elusive. In the absence of a clear mandate, Brexit remains as 'hung' as ever."
European markets moved higher after the U.K. election. The FTSE 100 in London rose 0.44%, the CAC 40 in France added 0.15%, and Germany's DAX increased 0.29%. The pound fell 1.6% against the U.S. dollar on Friday, changing hands at 1.2744.
U.S. stocks on Thursday managed to eke out small gains, enough to push the Nasdaq to a new record close, following former FBI Director James Comey's public testimony to the Senate.
In comments to the Senate, Comey said, "I take the president at his word I was fired because of the Russia investigation." When asked, Comey said he had "no doubt" that Russian government officials had attempted to interfere in the 2016 election. He also called Trump a liar and said the version of events the White House had pushed in the wake of his surprise firing were an effort to defame him.
"The administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI, by saying the organization was poorly led," Comey said, referring to the White House's story that the FBI had been unhappy with his role as director. "Those were lies, plain and simple."
Comey detailed his numerous meetings with Trump since January in his pre-released opening statement on Wednesday afternoon before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Comey said he had not told Trump that he would cease investigations into Flynn despite Trump's request. Comey also said that Trump had said, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty." Comey based his testimony on his recollections and a series of memos composed after several meetings. Trump fired Comey in May while the FBI was investigating the Trump transition team's ties to Russia.
For Friday, the economic calendar in the U.S. includes Wholesale Trade for April at 10 a.m. EDT, and the weekly Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
Boston Dynamics' robots can run, jump and climb stairs, with the company's CEO Marc Raibert describing them as "nightmare inducting." As part of the deal, SoftBank also is buying from Alphabet a company called Schaft that develops humanoids and came out of the University of Tokyo.
Dupont Fabros Technology (DFT) surged in premarket trading after agreeing to be acquired by Digital Realty Trust (DLR) in a deal worth $4.95 billion. Digital Realty has offered 0.545 of its shares for every Dupont Fabros share outstanding, equivalent to $63.63 a share. The deal values Dupont at a nearly 15% premium to its close on Thursday.