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Premarket: Is Facebook set to make friends? Add to ...

U.S. stocks look set on Friday to shake off a dismal five-day losing streak, despite no let-up to the gloom flowing from Europe. U.S. index futures were pointing higher with about 90 minutes before the start of trading, suggesting that stocks will rise at the start of trading.

Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were up 59 points or 0.5 per cent. Futures for the broader S&P 500 were up 7 points or 0.5 per cent.

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However, the direction of indexes is likely to be overtaken by interest in a single stock: Facebook Inc. starts trading on Friday morning, following an initial public offering that values the company at $104-billion (U.S.). The starting price: $38. The big question now is what (if any) that first-day pop is going to look like.

Markets

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.3 per cent in overnight trading.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 3 per cent in overnight trading.

U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.6 per cent in afternoon trading.

Germany's DAX index rose 0.2 per cent in afternoon trading.



Commodities

Crude oil: $92.81 (U.S.) a barrel, up 25 cents

Gold: $1,591 (U.S.) an ounce, up $16.30

Canadian dollar: 98.34 cents (U.S.), down 0.27 per cent



Economic data (eastern times):

It's a relatively light day for U.S. economic news. At 8:30 we'll see revisions to factory orders.

In Canada, it's inflation day, with the release of the consumer price index for April. Economist expect a rise of 0.3 per cent over last month and 1.9 per cent over last year. Core readings, which strip out volatile food and energy items, are expected to rise 0.2 per cent over last month and 1.9 per cent over last year.



Stocks to watch:

Facebook's debut as a publicly traded stock is likely going to overshadow everything. Not only is the stock the most-talked-about IPO in years, it's also a big debut. The starting price of $38 values the social media company at $104-billion. The money raised through the IPO makes it the biggest tech offering ever.

In a number of previous debuts by social media stocks, the first day gains have been impressive. Facebook's IPO, though, has been marred by reports of insider selling and an extreme valuation. The fun starts at 9:30.

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