U.S. stock futures firm up as North Korea keeps its cool

U.S. stock futures indicated a slightly firmer start on Friday, with some calm returning to the market after a week of geopolitical jitters, as North Korea made a restrained response to the U.S. withdrawal from a planned summit.

Pyongyang held off from turning up the tensions after President Donald Trump said Thursday he was pulling out of the June meeting.

Attention is expected to return to the U.S. economy, as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and other central bank officials are in line to speak. Updates on durable goods orders and consumer sentiment are also on deck.

Markets will be shut on Monday in observance of the Memorial Day holiday, which may keep trading volumes lighter than normal.

What are markets doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
YMM8, +0.26%
rose 25 points, or 0.1%, to 24,826, while S&P 500 Index futures
ESM8, +0.22%
added 1.9 points to 2,729.50. Nasdaq-100
NQM8, +0.41%
climbed 14.5 points, or 0.2%, to 6,972.

On Thursday, the Dow
DJIA, -0.30%
finished down 0.3% to 24,811.75, shaking off a loss of as much as 280.91 points earlier. The S&P 500
SPX, -0.20%
fell 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP, -0.02%
closed less than 0.1% lower at 7,424.43.

As of Thursday, major indexes were looking at mostly modest weekly gains 0.4% for the Dow, 0.6% for the S&P 500 and close to 1% for the Nasdaq Composite.

Whats driving the markets?

Investors will keep an eye on geopolitical headlines. After President Donald Trump called off a June 12 summit with North Korea, a senior official from Pyongyang said its leader Kim Jong Un is still willing to meet. U.S. stocks briefly tumbled Thursday on news that Trump had pulled out, but traders seemed to be finding some reassurance in North Koreas measured response.

We express our willingness to sit down face-to-face with the U.S. and resolve issues anytime and in any format, said Kim Kye Gwan, a senior North Korea foreign ministry official, in a statement published by the Norths official state media. She was the same official who had harsher words for the U.S. administration a week ago.

Investors may also watch to see whether any U.S. companies are struggling to comply with the new European data protection rules introduced Friday, seen as a potential risk for online advertising providers.

Check out: 5 things to know about the GDPR rules which could cost big, bad techs dear

But trading volumes may sag Friday as some investors head out early to start their long Memorial Day weekend.

Whats on the economic docket?

Readings on durable goods orders and core capital-equipment orders, both for April, are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The University of Michigans consumer sentiment index for May is scheduled for release at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Investors will hear from several Fed officials on Friday, including Chairman Jerome Powell, who will appear on a panel on financial stability and central bank transparency at a conference in Stockholm at 9:20 a.m. Eastern.

The presidents of the Chicago and Dallas Feds, Charles Evans and Rob Kaplan, are expected to speak on a panel at a Dallas Fed conference on technology and disruption at 11:45 a.m. Eastern.

Which stocks are in focus?

Foot Locker Inc .
FL, +3.02%
is expected to report its first-quarter earnings ahead of the open.

Apple Inc.
AAPL, -0.11%
may be in focus after Samsung Electronics Co.
005930, +2.53%
was ordered by a federal jury to pay the iPhone maker $539 million for infringing patents related to phone designs. Its the latest development in a legal battle that has stretched over seven years.

Read: Amazons Alexa recorded couples conversation, sent it to random contact

What are other markets doing?

After a cautious session, Asian stocks finished in the red for the week, led by a 2% drop for the Nikkei 225 index
NIK, +0.06%
European stocks
SXXP, +0.59%
were trading higher in early action.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
DXY, +0.11%
moved up 0.3% to 93.995. The 10-year Treasury note yield
TMUBMUSD10Y, -0.15%
remained under 3%, at 2.98%.

Gold futures
GCM8, -0.02%
slipped 0.1% to $1,302.80 an ounce, while oil futures
CLN8, -1.95%
were headed for the fourth-straight losing session, down 0.5% to $70.38 a barrel.

Barbara Kollmeyer

Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @bkollmeyer.

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Quote References YMM8 +64.00 +0.26% ESM8 +6.00 +0.22% NQM8 +28.25 +0.41% DJIA -75.05 -0.30% SPX -5.53 -0.20% COMP -1.53 -0.02% FL +1.36 +3.02% AAPL -0.21 -0.11% 005930 +1,300.00 +2.53% NIK +13.78 +0.06% SXXP +2.30 +0.59% DXY +0.10 +0.11% TMUBMUSD10Y +0.00 -0.15% GCM8 -0.30 -0.02% CLN8 -1.38 -1.95% Show all references
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