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U.S. futures dip after data, growth worries weigh; Dow Jones down 0.36%

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Forexpros - U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Friday, following the release of U.S. import prices data as concerns over the outlook for global economic growth dominated market sentiment.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.36% drop, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.38% decline, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.27% fall.

Market sentiment weakened broadly after official data showed earlier that China's trade surplus narrowed in July to USD25.1 billion from a USD31.7 billion surplus the previous month, dissapointing expectations for the surplus to widen to USD35.1 billion.

The data came a day after the European Central Bank said in its monthly bulletin on Thursday that the economic outlook for the euro zone faced a number of downside risks, with financial market tensions and their potential impact on growth posing the key threats.

In the U.S., official data showed that import prices fell unexpectedly in July for the fourth consecutive month, ticking down 0.6% after a 2.4% decline in June. Analysts had expected import prices to rise 0.1% in July.

Retailer JC Penney was expected to be active after reporting a sharper-than-expected drop in quarterly sales at stores open at least a year, posting its second straight quarter of severe sales losses since changing its pricing strategy last winter. The news sent shares tumbling 1.13% in pre-market trade.

In the tech sector, Research In Motion's U.S.-traded shares surged 6.41% in early trading, amid reports computer giant IBM is considering buying RIM's enterprise division.

Software company Fusion-io Inc also saw shares spike pre-market, skyrocketing 22.26%, after it projected late Thursday strong growth over the next year and it surpassed fourth-quarter profit estimates.

Elsewhere, Yahoo was likely to move lower, as shares tumbled 3.94% in early trading, a day after the company said it may reconsider what it does with the money it gets from a multibillion-dollar sale of half of its stake in Alibaba Group. Yahoo had initially promised to return most of the cash to shareholders.

In energy stocks, Chesapeake was set to be active after receiving a subpoena from the antitrust division of the Justice Department's Midwest Field Office, amid an investigation into possible violations of antitrust laws related to the purchase of oil and gas rights. Shares were down 2.81% pre-market.

Other stocks in focus included English soccer team Manchester United, expected to make its market debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "MANU."

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The EURO STOXX 50 tumbled 1.07%, France's CAC 40 plunged 1.08%, Germany's DAX dropped 0.78%, while Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.28%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slid 0.66%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index retreated 0.97%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release a government report on the Federal budget balance.


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