Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Friday include: AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM), Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN), Splunk Inc (NASDAQ:SPLK), Cumulus Media Inc (NASDAQ:CMLS), Dial Global Inc (OTCMKTS:DIAL), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG), Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA), Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSUN), OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:OVTI).

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Market Levels:

US: Dow Futures: 14850.00 (0.10%), S&P 500 Futures: 1639.25 (0.15%), NASDAQ Futures: 3096.25 (0.22%)
Europe: CAC: 3962.99 (-0.59%), DAX: 8154.89 (-0.48%), FTSE: 6452.41 (-0.47%)
Asia-Pacific: Australia: 5135.00 (0.85%), China: 2098.38 (0.05%), Hong Kong: 21731.37 (0.12%), Japan: 13388.86 (-0.53%).
Metals: Gold: 1395.80 (-1.21%), Silver: 23.65 (-1.83), Copper: 3.23 (-0.32%)
Energy: Crude Oil: 108.24 (-0.51%), Natural Gas: 3.61 (-0.14%)
Commodities: Corn: 4.76 (-1.09%), Soya Bean: 13.50 (-1.33%), Wheat: 6.53 (-0.19%)
Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3239 (-0.02%), GBP/USD: 1.5497 (-0.05%), USD/JPY: 98.2400 (-0.11%)
10-year US Treasury: 2.775% (0.013)

Market and Economic News Update:

U.S. stock-index futures gain: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Friday as investor fears of an imminent military strike against Syria receded. Economic data due later in the day include personal income and spending figures for July and the final reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey. No major companies are due to report quarterly earnings on Friday. Meanwhile, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard is scheduled to speak at 9:00 a.m. ET.

European markets drop: European markets are down in trade, hurt by broad declines in energy stocks after U.K. lawmakers voted against any military intervention in Syria. On the economic front, euro zone business sentiment increased to 95.2 in August, according to data released by the European Commission on Friday, while unemployment remained at a record high in July with a reading of 12.1 percent. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) edged 0.5 percent lower to 6452.41 points. The CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) shed 0.6 percent to 3962.99 points, while the DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) fell 0.5 percent to 8154.89. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was down 0.8 percent in recent trading.

Asian stocks end mostly higher; Nikkei down 0.5%: Asian markets closed higher in trade today, but growing fears of a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria capped gains. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) erased early morning gains, to end down 0.5 percent, amid a stronger yen. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) was largely unchanged at 2098.38 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index finished up 0.9 percent, for a 1.6 percent gain in August.

Stocks in News:

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) would examine Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD)’s remaining assets after Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) acquires the British mobile carrier’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless, according to a Bloomberg report. Robin Bienenstock, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said AT&T could pay up to 80 billion pounds ($124 billion) to buy-out what’s left of Vodafone.

salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM)

The cloud-software firm posted second-quarter earnings excluding items of 9 cents per share, 2 cents above the consensus estimate. Revenue jumped 31 percent to $957 million, also ahead of projections for $939.2 million. In addition, the company offered upbeat current quarter guidance and raised its full-year outlook, sending shares sharply higher in pre-market trading.

Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN)

Activist investor Carl Icahn has raised his stake in speech recognition technology maker Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) to 16.9 percent, and said he may seek to add his nominees to the company’s board. Icahn had reported a 16.03 percent stake earlier this month, following which, Nuance adopted a stockholder rights plan to reduce the chances of any shareholder gaining control of the company by buying up shares on the open market.

Splunk Inc (NASDAQ:SPLK)

The data software firm reported a loss of a penny per share excluding certain items, on sales of $66.9 million in its fiscal second quarter. Analysts were expecting a loss of 3 cents per share on revenue of $63 million. For the current quarter, the company projected revenue of $69 million to $71 million. Shares closed Thursday at $48.92, and soared in early morning trade.

Cumulus Media Inc (NASDAQ:CMLS), Dial Global Inc (OTCMKTS:DIAL)

Radio broadcaster Cumulus Media Inc (NASDAQ:CMLS) is close to acquiring one of the country’s largest producers and distributors of radio programming, Dial Global Inc (OTCMKTS:DIAL) for about $260 million in cash, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year, the report said, citing people with knowledge of the situation.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD)

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD) reported weaker than expected quarterly earnings, sending shares lower in pre-market trading. For the second quarter, the company earned 14 cents per share excluding items, 2 cents below the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue came in at $112.7 million, topping expectations for $111.9 million. The doughnut chain also reiterated its full-year earnings outlook of 59 cents to 63 cents per share.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)

GE is planning to spin-off the retail lending and credit-card operations of its finance arm GE Capital in an initial public offering as early as next year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation. The report further said that the conglomerate is considering smaller spinoffs or asset sales, as it tries to focus on its core industrial operations.

Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG)

Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG)’s fiscal second-quarter earnings fell 18 percent and the company lowered its full-year earnings outlook, sending shares down in pre-market trading. For the quarter ended August 3, the retailer reported a profit of $18.1 million, or 31 cents a share, down from $22.1 million, or 36 cents a share, in the same period last year. For the full-year, the company lowered its earnings outlook to a range of $2.80 to $3.05 a share, from its earlier guidance of $2.87 to $3.12 a share.

Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA)

Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) will sell a 33 percent stake in its Egypt oil and natural gas business for $3.1 billion to Chinese state-owned oil giant Sinopec Group. Egyptian interests account for roughly a fifth of Apache’s global oil and gas production. The two companies have also agreed to form a global strategic partnership to develop oil and gas projects, Houston-based Apache Corp said today in a statement.

Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSUN)

Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSUN) posted second-quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 2 cents per share, compared with a per-share loss of 10 cents in the year-ago period. Analysts were projecting the teen-focused specialty retailer to break-even on a per-share basis in the quarter. Sales rose 9 percent to $215.2 million, while same-store sales increased 3 percent. For the third quarter, the company expects to post a loss of 4 cents to 9 cents per share, below current Street estimates. Shares tumbled in recent trading.

OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:OVTI)

The chip-maker posted fiscal first quarter earnings of 55 cents per share, on revenue of $373.7 million. Analysts at Wall Street were expecting earnings of 43 cents per share on sales of $376.6 million for the quarter. In addition, OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:OVTI) forecast second quarter earnings of 36 cents to 53 cents per share on revenue of $375 million to $410 million. Shares tanked in early trading.

Economic Calendar for Friday, August 30, 2013:

08:30 A.M. ET: Personal Income (MoM) (July)
08:30 A.M. ET: Personal Spending (July)
08:30 A.M. ET: Core Personal Consumption Expenditure – Price Index (YoY) (July)
08:30 A.M. ET: Core Personal Consumption Expenditure – Price Index (MoM) (July)
08:30 A.M. ET: Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (QoQ) (Q2)
09:00 A.M. ET: St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks.
09:45 A.M. ET: Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index (August)
09:55 A.M. ET: Reuters/Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (August)