Stock futures fall on euro zone, "fiscal cliff" angst


Stock index futures dipped on Friday and were on track to post their worst week in five months as the euro zone crisis was seen hitting France and Germany and investors fretted over the looming U.S. "fiscal cliff."

Growth in Germany, Europe's largest economy, is likely to weaken in the next two quarters as firms postpone investments while France's central bank said it expected the euro zone's second-largest economy to slip into recession as 2012 ends.

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In a speech at 1:05 p.m. EST, newly reelected President Barack Obama is likely to discuss looming tax increases and government spending cuts - the so-called fiscal cliff - that would go into effect unless Congress acts to prevent them.

The S&P 500 closed Thursday below its 200-day moving average for the first time in five months, a bearish technical signal that could keep stocks under pressure.

S&P 500 futures fell 7.4 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 56 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 6.75 points.

Groupon Inc's results, released Thursday, fell short of Wall Street's expectations as the daily deal company failed to turn around a struggling European business. The company's shares slumped 17 percent in premarket trading Friday.

J.C.Penney shares fell more than 7 percent in premarket trading after it posted a sharp drop in revenue.

The U.S. Labor Department releases import-export prices for October at 8:30 a.m. EST. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast an unchanged reading for imports and a 0.2 percent rise in export prices.

Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers will release preliminary November consumer sentiment index at 9:55 a.m.. Economists expect a sentiment reading of 83.0 compared with 82.6 in the final October report.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Bernadette Baum)