Stock Futures Wobble; Housing Data on Tap

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U.S. stock-index futures were little changed on Friday despite weakness across global exchanges as traders awaited the latest data on American new home sales.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:30 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 17 points to 12982, S&P 500 futures dipped 0.9 point to 1388 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 1 point to 2732.

There has been a resurgence in anxiety that growth in several key foreign economies may be slowing down even expansion in the U.S. picks up steam. A report Friday showing business sentiment in China, the second biggest economy in the world, dipped in March added to the prior session's "bearish sentiment" over weak factory data, analysts at Nomura wrote in a note to clients.

The chance that even large countries in the eurozone, such as Germany and France, may not be immune to headwinds from the debt crisis there also weighed on confidence. European shares were off 0.6% while China's Hang Seng closed with a loss of 1.1%.

Still, U.S. market participants were waiting for the latest reading on new home sales for the month of February before taking a major position. Economists expect sales to have edged up to an annual rate of 325,000 units from 321,000 in the last session.

Commodities nudged higher after broadly falling in the last session. The benchmark crude oil contract traded in New York climbed 31 cents, or 0.29%, to $105.66 a barrel. Wholesale RBOB gasoline gained 0.23% to $3.347 a gallon.

In metals, gold rose $7.00, or 0.43%, to $1,650 a troy ounce. U.S. Treasury prices advanced, pushing yields down. The yield on the 10-year slipped 0.029% to 2.254%.

Foreign Markets

European blue chips fell 0.59%, the English FTSE 100 slumped 0.11% to 5840 and the German DAX slipped 0.12% to 6973.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 sold off by 1.1% to 10011 and the Chinese Hang Seng dropped 1.1% to 20669.

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