U.S. stocks were poised for a higher open Friday as investor excitement over the Facebook initial public offering countered continued worries about the European sovereign debt crisis.
Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were all higher. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Investors will be faced with a barrage of Facebook news Friday, with the social network set to debut on the Nasdaq in one of the most highly anticipated IPOs in years.
Facebook priced its initial public offering at $38 a share after the closing bell Thursday. The offering raised $16 billion, making it the most valuable tech IPO in history.
But for all the Facebook fun, there's still the matter of the European debt crisis looming over world markets.
Concerns are mounting about a potential Greek exit from the euro, and the implications this could have for other fiscally troubled nations such as Spain and Italy. Rating agency Moody's downgraded 16 Spanish banks on Thursday, including giants Banco Santander and BBVA, the latest sign of distress in Europe.
Greece, currently operating with a caretaker government, could leave the eurozone if anti-austerity parties triumph in elections next month.
A growing number of depositors are withdrawing their money from Greek banks amid worries that their savings could be converted to a devalued currency if Greece drops the euro. The rapid withdrawals are putting further strain on the country's struggling financial sector.
Peter Cardillo, chief market economist Rockwell Global Capital, said that most of the latest bad news out of Europe, such as the downgrades, hit during the U.S. trading day Thursday, although after the close of overseas markets.
That has given investors in the U.S. more of a chance to balance the European worries with the excitement over Facebook's strong IPO late Thursday.
"The market is going to trade off of Facebook today," he said. "I don't want to say it'll give us a relief rally. but it might give us a temporary boost, even if the market is still weak."
U.S. stocks closed lower Thursday. Investors fled stocks and made a rush toward the safety of U.S. Treasuries, sending the 10-year yield to a record low close.
Companies: Apparel retailer Foot Locker reported earnings per share of 83 cents early Friday, up from 60 cents a year earlier and better than the forecast of 74 cents from analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Shares rose 1.4% in premarket trading.
Shares of Salesforce.com rose 6.6% in premarket trading. After the close Thursday, the company reported better-than-expected earnings.
Shares of clothing maker Gap rose 1.5% premarket on its better-than-expected earnings and a raised earnings outlook, also reported after the close Thursday.
Shares of Chinese solar energy producers Yingli Green Energy, Trina Solar and Suntech Power fell sharply Thursday after the U.S. government announced new tariffs on Chinese solar panels. On the flip side, shares of U.S. panel makers First Solar rose 7% while SunPower gained 10%.
World markets: European stocks were mixed in afternoon trading, rallying from being down across the board earlier in the day. Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.5%, although that was well above earlier lows, while the DAX in Germany gained 0.3% and France's CAC 40 rose 0.5%.
But Asian markets ended sharply lower on worries about Europe, a major market for Asian exports. The Shanghai Composite lost 1.4% on the day, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong tumbled 1.3% and Japan's Nikkei plunged nearly 3%.
Currencies and commodities: The dollar was little changed against the euro, lower against the British pound and higher versus the Japanese yen.
Oil for June delivery edged up 24 cents to $92.80 a barrel.
Gold futures for June delivery rose $14.20 to $1,589.10 an ounce.
Bonds: Worries about European sovereign debt continued to prompt a flight to quality by bond investors, lifting the price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury slightly higher. The yield eased to 1.70% from a record low close of 1.706% late Thursday.