Wall Street looked set to wipe out some of the previous session's gains Friday, as investors appeared ready to cut their losses as January closed. Fears of deflation in the euro zone, and jitters ahead of consumer spending and sentiment reports, didn't help sentiment.
A handful of companies will report ahead of the opening bell, including Chevron Corp. Amazon.com Inc. shares could pressure techs, while Zynga Inc. could gain on the heels of late-Thursday results.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 85 points, or 0.6%, to 15646, while futures for the Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 8.9 points, or 0.5%, to 1772.30. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index fell 5.25 points to 3496.75.
The falls come a day after Wall Street indexes recouped nearly all the territory lost since the start of the week. The Nasdaq Composite recorded its best gain Thursday since Oct. 10, boosted by upbeat earnings from Facebook Inc.
"It is month end, and portfolio managers are looking to limit exposure, [and] so limit the damage from 'Jaundiced January'," said Stephen Pope, managing director at Spotlight Ideas. The S&P 500 index is barely hanging onto positive territory for the week and looking at a close-to-3% drop for the month.
Sentiment took a further dent after the rate of euro-zone inflation unexpectedly dropped to 0.7% in January, triggering an extension of losses for European stocks. It also raised fears of deflation, as well as speculation that the European Central Bank may cut interest rates or use nonconventional policy measures.
On the data front in the U.S., investors will get a look at consumer spending for December, with forecasters projecting a 0.2% gain in spending, down from 0.5% in November. A weaker number could get investors fretting that consumers turned cautious at the end of last year. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. EST.
Also closely watched, the University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment survey for January, due at 9:55 a.m. EST, is expected to show a slight uptick.
Ahead of the bell, Chevron is projected to report fourth-quarter earnings of $2.57 a share, according to a consensus survey by FactSet.
Amazon may add weight to downbeat Friday sentiment after sales came in just shy of estimates in the fourth quarter. Shares tumbled 10% in late trading Thursday.
Zynga shares surged 19% late Thursday and could add to those gains after the games maker said it would cut its head count and buy NaturalMotion, a mobile videogame company, as it announced results.
In other markets, oil fell while gold inched higher and the dollar held on to recent gains. In Asia, Japanese stocks eased.