Stock index futures fell on Friday ahead of labor market data expected to underscore fears the economy is headed for another recession and as concerns about the euro zone debt crisis resurfaced.
The payroll data, due at 8:30 a.m. EDT, is expected to show an increase of 75,000 jobs, according to a Reuters survey, slowing from July's 117,000 payrolls rise.
Confirmation that Greece will miss its 2011 deficit target and uncertainty over Italy's commitment to austerity measures underscored unease about the region prompting investors to shy away from riskier assets.
Considering the market turmoil in August and the likely rational response on the part of employers to sit on their hands, there is little reason to think there will be an upside surprise of substance, said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.
It will be more a matter of the degree of softness relative to what is needed to lower the unemployment rate on a sustainable basis.
S&P 500 futures lost 9.8 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 65 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 17 points.
Bank shares could be under pressure after the New York Times reported the Federal Housing Finance Agency is suing big lenders like Bank of America Corp
The suit, involving mortgages sold during the housing bubble, accuses the banks of failing to perform due diligence and missing evidence that borrowers' incomes were falsified or inflated.
Bank of America shares were down 6.3 percent at $7.41 in premarket trade. JPMorgan fell 1.4 percent at $35.78.
Separately in the banking sector, the U.S. Federal Reserve has asked Bank of America to show what measures it could take if business conditions worsen, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.
U.S. regulators have requested proprietary algorithmic data from high-frequency trading firms as part of an investigation into suspicious market activity.
Independent refiner Valero Energy Corp
European shares fell 1.8 percent Friday morning on renewed worries over the region's debt crisis and ahead of the U.S. jobs data. <.EU>
U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, snapping a four-day rally.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)