Disappointing trade data from China and the scrapping of a large IPO fed into fears about market volatility and the economy on Friday, with U.S. stocks set to fall a day after rebounding from a six-day losing streak.
China's export growth slowed in May, raising questions over the outlook for global growth at a time when investors have been rattled by a barrage of reports showing the U.S. economy is slowing down.
Ryan Larson, head of equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management in Chicago, said he was looking at S&P 500 near-term support at 1,275, with a progressive move back to the March low around 1,250 if that is broken. The index closed Thursday at 1,289.
We are going to be watching key technical levels, specifically on the S&P 500, today to provide any direction, he said. Over the last week, the S&P has really broken down technically.
S&P 500 futures dipped 4.5 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 33 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were off 4.25 points.
In another negative for U.S. stocks, the euro fell as concerns about the Greek debt crisis eclipsed any support from a likely euro zone interest rate rise next month. Investors have been trading the correlation between stocks and the dollar recently.
U.S. shares ended up Thursday for the first time in over a week, but closed off session highs as the mood among investors remained fragile following a 6 percent drop in the S&P 500 from its highs in May.
Jack de Gan, chief investment officer at Harbor Advisory Corp in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, said the Chinese trade data indicates there is some slowing in world demand for Chinese products and that feeds right into the fears that our economy is slowing.
Overseas markets were lackluster. European shares on the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> dropped 0.4 percent in early trade and were on track for a sixth straight week of losses. Japan's Nikkei <.NK225> ended up 0.5 percent.
Crude oil futures fell 0.4 percent, reversing earlier gains after Brent rose to a five-week high of $120 a barrel. Saudi Arabia began offering more oil to Asian refiners, easing worries about supplies following an inconclusive OPEC meeting.
U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)