U.S. stock index futures point to a lower open on Wall Street on Friday, ahead of the publication of a report on consumption and spending trends after the euro zone released mostly better-than-expected economic data.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were flat, while futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.4 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.34 percent.
Investors will also watch the consumer sentiment report from Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan, which is due to be released at 9:55 a.m. EDT. The preliminary index for September that shows what American consumers think of the nation's business climate and economic conditions, is expected to increase to 78 in the month, after falling to 76.8 in August -- its lowest level in the year, according to a Bloomberg report.
A report on personal income, published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis at 8.30 a.m. EDT, which measures the change in the total value of income received from all sources by consumers, is expected to post a 0.4 percent gain in August, up from 0.1 percent posted in the previous month. Meanwhile, the Personal Spending report, which measures the change in the inflation-adjusted value of all spending by consumers and accounts for a majority of overall economic activity, is expected to increase by 0.3 percent in August, compared to an increase of 0.1 percent in July.
"The muted increase in nominal spending will have been due to relatively soft spending on both goods and services," Paul Dales, an economist with Capital Economics, wrote in a research note. "The good news is that the rebound in earnings growth and average hours worked in August suggest that nominal income rose by around 0.3% m/m. But the upward trend in real disposable income probably remained muted."
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In Europe, markets traded lower on Friday despite data from the European Union, or EU, provided further proof that the region's economies are making a steady recovery.
The economic sentiment indicator in the 27-member EU rose sharply by 2.4 points to 100.6, lifting the indicator above its long-term average for the first time since July 2011, while in the 17-member euro zone, the indicator gained 1.6 points to reach 96.9. Industry confidence in the euro zone increased by 1.1 points in September while the business climate indicator for the euro zone was at a negative 0.2 in September, marginally up from a negative 0.22 reading in August.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index was trading down 0.42 percent, London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.73 percent, Germany's DAX-30 was down 0.5 percent and France's CAC-40 was trading down 0.45 percent, possibly in reaction to the ongoing debt ceiling debate in the U.S.
In Asia, most markets rebounded, tracking Thursday's gains on Wall Street, and after a better-than-expected industrial profits report from China, while weak August inflation figures weighed on Japanese shares.
Core consumer prices in Japan rose 0.8 percent in August, slightly above the expected 0.7 percent, while the core consumer inflation in Tokyo fell to 0.2 percent in August from 0.4 percent previous month and compared to analysts’ estimate of 0.3 percent, data released by the government on Friday showed.
China’s industrial profits jumped 24.2 percent in August on a yearly basis, more than doubling a gain of 11.6 percent in July, the government announced Friday.
In China, the Shanghai Composite index ended up 0.2 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.36 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.24 percent while Japan’s Nikkei ended down 0.26 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index added 0.22 percent and India’s BSE Sensex ended the day down 0.84 percent.