U.S. equity futures are pointing to a lower open when the final trading day of the week gets underway.
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The major futures indexes are suggesting a decline of 0.5%.
Economic data may dictate how the trading session goes.
The Commerce Department is expected to say retail sales rose 1.9% for the month of July, down from June’s larger-than-expected 7.5% rise. If you factor out autos, sales are expected to rise 1.3%, down sharply from 7.3% in June.
The Federal Reserve is expected to say the pace of industrial production slowed to 3.0% in July. That’s down from 5.4% in June, the biggest monthly increase since December 1959.
Fresh data out of China showed that its recovery remains subdued.
China reported factory output rose 4.8% from a year earlier in July, on a par with June’s increase. Retail sales fell 1.1%, as consumers remain cautious.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei gained nearly 0.2%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.2% and China's Shanghai Composite index gained 1.2%.
Trade tensions between the U.S. and China are also on investors' minds as so much of Asian regional growth depends on exports to those giant economies.
The two sides are due to hold talks online later Friday on a trade deal reached in January that brought a truce in their bruising tariff war.
In Europe, London's FTSE was down 2.2%, Germany's DAX traded down 1.3% and France's CAC fell 2.1%.
Widespread worries persist about a second, or third, surge in coronavirus cases in many places. Another afternoon fade for stocks left most benchmarks on Wall Street lower.
The S&P 500 dipped 0.2% to 3,373.43. At one point during the day, it climbed above 3,386.15. That’s the record closing level it set in February, before investors began to understand the degree of devastation the new coronavirus pandemic would inflict on the global economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.3% to 27,896.72. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.3%, to 11,042.50.
It was just the second loss for the S&P 500 in the last 10 days.
Economists said the drop in jobless claims, which was better than the market was expecting, is an encouraging step. But they also cautioned that it could be more of an outlier than a trend, and more data reports are needed to confirm it.
Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 26 cents to $41.99 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 43 cents to $42.24 per barrel on Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.