Futures Slip Amid Mixed U.S. Data

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U.S. stock-index futures tilted lower following Friday's big rally as traders mulled mixed reports on the American economy.

Today's Markets

As of 8:39 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 35 points to 12676, S&P 500 futures slipped 3.8 points to 1348 and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 5.8 points to 2571.

The S&P 500 zoomed 1.7% to the upside on Friday in the best daily performance for the broad-market index since late June. However, the gain was only enough to push the index 0.16% into the green for the week.

This week is set to be a busy one from an economic standpoint. There are a slew of closely-watched economic reports on tap, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to testify before Congress on Tuesday.

The New York Federal Reserve's gauge of manufacturing activity in the Empire State region pointed to a slightly faster expansion in July from the month before. The measure came in at 7.39, up from 2.29 in June, and better than expectations of 4. The more closely-followed survey from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is slated for release on Thursday.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed retail sales falling 0.5% in June from May, surprising economists who were expecting a 0.2% gain. Excluding the auto segment, sales were down 0.4%; economists had expected sales to remain flat.

Later in the morning, Wall Street will get data on business inventories, which is seen as a gauge of expectations of future customer demand. The International Monetary Fund also issues its updated World Economic Outlook at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Earnings season is kicking into full gear. J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) kicked off bank earnings season on Friday. Citigroup (NYSE:C) shares rose after the bank reported a second-quarter profit that beat analysts' expectations.

Elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal reported that the European Central Bank advocated making senior bondholders on certain bailed out Spanish banks incur losses. This would represent a major change in direction, and one that could potentially hurt confidence in the Spanish banking sector. European markets largely shrugged off the report, with credit spreads on Spanish debt holding essentially steady, according to financial-data firm Markit.

Oil futures were modestly lower. The benchmark crude oil contract traded in New York fell 40 cents, or 0.46%, to $86.72 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.3% to $2.825 a gallon.

In metals, gold slumped $7.30, or 0.46%, to $1,585 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.38% to 2251, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.02% to 5665 and the German DAX slumped 0.16% to 6546.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 0.05% to 8724 and the Chinese Hang Seng edged up by 0.15% to 6546.