U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday, indicating the S&P 500 may rebound from its second-worst decline of the year.
* The benchmark index dropped 2.2 per cent in the prior session, its biggest drop since a 2.5 per cent fall on June 1, as evidence mounted of slowing manufacturing growth worldwide, a threat to corporate profits.
* After falling for two consecutive sessions, the index is down 1.3 per cent for the week.
* Investors will eye banking shares after ratings agency Moody’s downgraded 15 of the world’s biggest banks on Thursday, lowering credit ratings by one to three notches to reflect their risk of losses from volatile capital market activities.
* Morgan Stanley added 3.5 per cent to $14.45 (U.S.) and Bank of America Corp advanced 0.9 per cent to $7.89 in light premarket trade.
* S&P 500 futures rose 1.7 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 29 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 1.75 points.
* European shares extended the previous session’s losses, unable to rebound from poor macroeconomic data. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.5 per cent.
* The leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Spain will try to find common ground in Rome to restore confidence in the euro zone ahead of a full EU summit next week, which Italy’s prime minister called a defining moment.
* Darden Restaurants Inc slid 4.2 per cent to $48.26 in light premarket trade after the restaurant operator reported fourth-quarter earnings. The company expected its business environment in 2013 “to be similar to 2012, with slow and uneven recovery in economy and industry.”
* Carnival Corp is also expected to post earnings on Friday.
* Johnson & Johnson said that U.S. regulators have declined to approve a new use for its Xarelto blood clot preventer to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients with acute coronary syndrome.
* Best Buy Co Inc’s acting CEO promised on Thursday to tackle the unwieldy size of the world’s largest consumer electronics chain, just months after investors gave a thumbs-down to its restructuring efforts.
* Logistics company Ryder Systems Inc cut its quarterly earnings forecast, citing lower demand for its commercial rental services.
* Asian shares fell amid fears about global growth, spurred by weak manufacturing data from the United States, Europe and China.
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