Stock-index futures retained their declines after the Commerce Department reported consumer spending climbed 0.2% and personal income fell 3.6% in January.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJH3 -0.31% fell 44 points to 13,994, while those for the Standard & Poor’s index SPH3 -0.45% fell 6.6 points to 1,506.7.
Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index NDH3 -0.45% fell 11.25 points to 2,726.75.
Peter Garnry, equity strategist at Saxo Bank, said investors may be taking advantage of some downbeat Purchasing Managers Index figures out of the U.K. and Italy to lock in some profits. Otherwise, all eyes will be on a heavy round of U.S. data, including the important ISM Manufacturing index.
“We expect good numbers from the U.S. and that could be the catalyst for a bounce-back later today,” said Garnry.
The ISM data will come at 10 a.m. U.S. Eastern time, just after the open of U.S. markets. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect the ISM index, a key indicator that strongly correlates with gross domestic product, slowed to 52.5% from 53.1% in January. ‘
At 9:55 a.m. Eastern time, the final release of the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index is expected to show a February reading of 76.4 versus 73.8 in January, owing to higher stock prices and a firmer labor market. That index came in at 76.3 in a preliminary reading from last month.
Construction spending will also be released at 10 a.m. Eastern.
Of course, also on Friday, automatic federal budget cuts of $85 billion, known as the sequester, are likely to kick in after a pair of Senate bills aimed at replacing those cuts failed Thursday.
Wall Street stocks appeared to shrug off the budget drama in Washington, but also made a last-minute retreat Thursday amid mixed data on growth and employment.
The Dow industrials DJIA -0.15% fell 20.88 points, or 0.2%, to end at 14,054.49, which is 110 points from the Oct. 9, 2007 record close. The index did rise 1.4% on the month, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index SPX -0.09% fell 1.31 points to 1,514.68, 50 points from its Oct. 9, 2007 record close. Read: U.S. stock stall in stretch toward record close. Market Watch