Stock Futures Pull Back after Rally

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U.S. stock-index futures fell on Friday in the last trading session of what has been a strong quarter for equities as traders awaited several economic reports and stress tests on Spain's banks.

Today's Markets

As of 8:40 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 74 points to 13340, S&P 500 futures dipped 7.8 points to 1433 and Nasdaq 100 futures slumped 11.5 points to 2803.

The major market averages have posted solid gains in the third quarter. In fact, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are both poised to close out the three-month period more than 6% to the upside. Action from the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, People's Bank of China and other major central banks aimed at buoying the world economy has helped to boost sentiment.

Focus across trading desks has been shifting back to the eurozone in recent days. Spain revealed a wide-ranging budget plan Thursday designed to cut down its deficit in coming years. Traders reacted bullishly, sending U.S. shares sharply higher on that day.

The country is set to unveil the results of stress tests on its banking system at roughly noon ET Friday. The tests were a condition of the $37 billion rescue the country's banks received in July.

There are also several economic reports on tap.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.5% in August from July as expected, the larget rise since February. Personal income rose 0.1%, slightly under the 0.2% expected.

A separate report due later from Reuters and the University of Michigan may show consumer sentiment having fallen slightly in late September form earlier in the month.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago's PMI gauge is expected to show manufacturing activity in the U.S. Midwest having continued expanding at the same pace between September and August.

On the corporate front, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) said it will pay $2.43 billion to settle a class action lawsuit initiated in 2009 over its purchase of Merill Lynch.

Oil futures were slightly higher. The benchmark contract traded in New York gained 22 cents, or 0.25%, to $92.06 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.51% to $3.16 a gallon.

In metals, gold ticked up $1.30, or 0.06%, to $1,782 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.9% to 2483, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.07% to 5776 and the German DAX slipped 0.33% to 7266.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 slumped 0.89% to 8870 and the Chinese Hang Seng drifted higher by 0.38% to 20840.