U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Friday as better-than-expected manufacturing data in the United States was offset by weak European gross domestic product reading, clouding the economic outlook.

UBS downgraded the rating some global stocks to neutral from overweight, citing concerns on the economy.

But insurer shares rose after news that at least four U.S. insurers won approval on Thursday to tap billions of dollars through the government's bank bailout plan.

U.S. industrial production fell 0.5 percent in April, dropping for the sixth consecutive month but at a more modest pace than in recent months, while consumer prices were unchanged in April as expected, but recorded their largest 12-month drop since 1955.

Europe sank to what may be the recession's low point in the first quarter as GDP fell 2.5 percent from the last quarter of 2008.

Sixteen members of the euro region reported their GDP this morning, said Paul Mendelsohn chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont. That certainly didn't help (sentiment).

S&P 500 futures fell 2.8 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 shed 20 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures were off 4 points.

Shares in Hartford Financial Services Group Inc rose 14 percent to $16.91, Principal Financial Group Inc

added 6 percent to $20.10, while Lincoln National Corp climbed 12.5 percent to $18.27.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)