The Greek prime minister, October's jobs report and Groupon's (GRPN) IPO are set to grab traders' attention Friday.
Wall Street futures pointed to a moderately lower open, with European indices trading mixed, following reports that Greece's prime minister may or may not resign from his post, depending on results of a parliamentary vote on the matter. If all that happens, major parties have agreed to agree on the eurozone bailout deal.
Meanwhile, Greece's finance minister has informed the E.U. that the idea for a public referendum on the bailout has been scrapped.
Analysts say the upside to the entire scenario is that Greek politicians have essentially concurred that the nation should stay with the euro.
The euro was higher vs. the dollar before Wall Street's open.
Asian stocks finished higher Friday. The upside trade followed Wall Street's gains Thursday in heavier turnover, spurred by the European rate cut.
Gold, which has risen in recent days along with worries about Greece and the European debt crisis, slipped $6.50 per ounce in early trade, to $1,758.60.
Crude oil gained on relief that the European situation may be heading toward some sort of resolution (for now, anyway). West Texas Intermediate was up $0.66 in electronic trade, to $94.73 per barrel.
The headline-grabbing events on today's schedule are the October nonfarm payrolls report and the start of trading for online coupon company Groupon.
The Labor Department steps up first, issuing its data at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Economists expect to see 100,000 new jobs added last month, a measly number, which would leave the unemployment rate unchanged at 9.1%. Average hourly earnings are forecast to rise 0.2%.
When the market opens an hour later, watch for the frenzy as online coupon issuer Groupon begins trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol GRPN. Late Thursday, the company priced 35 million shares at $20 apiece, raising $700 million. It had originally planned to issue 30 million shares, priced between $16 and $18.
There's huge interest in this offering because it's the biggest Internet IPO since Google's (GOOG) $1.7 billion debut in 2004.
The deal has plenty of skeptics who question whether the business can differentiate itself long term, given low barriers to entry for competing online coupon services. Many analysts who track online marketing strategies also question the viability of the business model, in general. Meanwhile, some stock-market analysts have criticized the low float; the company is offering a small number of shares, they say, to give the stock a big lift in its first day of trading.
There's not much in the way of high-profile earnings news today. Utility stocks have been among solid price performers in the volatile market. DTE Energy (DTE), which provides electric and natural gas services to customers in Michigan, reports its third quarter before the open.
It's expected to earn $1 per share on revenue of $2.13 billion. Shares are up 15% this year, and are trading near four-and-a-half-year highs. The stock's current dividend yield is 4.5%. Dividend payers attracted good levels of buying in recent months after the summer's market downturn.
Early price movers Friday included Starbucks (SBUX), jumping a caffeine-fueled $1.59, 3.84%, to $42.99. This morning's move follows a better-than-expected earnings report late Thursday. The company cited strong sales at its own locations, as well as in retail stores.
This week, it's rolling out its long-awaited K-Cups, in partnership with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR).
On the downside, an early decliner was Sprint Nextel (S), tumbling $0.13, or 4.63%, to $2.68. Yesterday, a judge dismissed some of two lawsuits' claims that are seeking to block AT&T's (T) acquisition of T-Mobile. Sprint is among parties opposing the deal.
Analyst shop Bernstein initiated coverage on a number of high-profile, consumer-focused Internets. Google and Amazon (AMZN) got started with ratings of Outperform. eBay (EBAY), Yahoo! (YHOO) and Netflix (NFLX) were awarded Market Perform designations.