Stock Futures Slide as Global Concerns Mount

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. stock-index futures took a blow Friday as emerging-market turmoil flared up and economists worried about cooling inflation in the eurozone.

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As of 8:10 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dropped 145 points, or 0.92%, to 15588, S&P 500 futures fell 15 points, or 0.83%, to 1766 and Nasdaq 100 futures slumped 12 points, or 0.35%, to 3489.

Global worries boiled back to the surface again on Friday.

Emerging-market currencies took yet blow on the day, with the Turkish lira, South African rand, Russian ruble and others sustaining another hit. Traders said the move came after a slew of small factors -- like commentary from a Hungarian minister -- sent skittish traders ditching risky currencies.

On top of that, eurozone inflation cooled to a year-over-year pace of 0.7% in January from 0.8% in December -- lower than economists expected. The European Central Bank has dropped interest rates to record lows in a bid to push prices higher and avoid a potentially deflationary situation.

Still, Michael Block, chief strategist at Rhino Trading Partners, said the cooling inflation isn't all bad.

"EU deflation is a bad is good scenario because it has expectations rising that the ECB will do some form of accommodation in March," he said.

Echoing that remark, analysts at Societe Generale told clients "while euro inflation will be low by historical standards ... inflation is comfortably far away from deflation."

Block added that Friday's action is also being driven by "risk management" as traders adjust positions after what has been a tough month for Wall Street.

"This is not fundamental," he said, "it is pain related."

On the corporate front, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) revealed mixed quarterly results, while (NASDAQ:AMZN) missed on both lines. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) cut its fourth-quarter view to a range just below what it previously said, sending shares of the world's biggest retailer sliding.

Elsewhere, the Commerce Department reports consumer spending rose 0.4% in December, slightly above expectations of 0.2%, while personal income remained unchanged from November. Economists expected personal income to rise 0.2%.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures fell $1.06, or 1.1%, to $97.17 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline fell 0.66% to $2.645 a gallon. Gold rose $6.80, or 0.55%, to $1,249 a troy ounce.

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