Wall Street Poised to Log Monthly Slump

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U.S. stock-index futures were on the rise on Friday, but the markets were still poised to close out the month with significant losses.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:35 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 6 points to 14828, S&P 500 futures gained 0.25 point to 1637 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 2 points to 3092.

Action has been driven this month by worries about when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering its vast bond-buying program. Those concerns have driven the broad S&P 500 down by 2.8% and the narrower Dow down 4.3%. Late this month, worries about the potential for a U.S.-led strike against Syria have also weighed heavily on sentiment.

With Wall Street eyeing a long weekend, analysts said trading volume could be light on the day, which sometimes leads to heightened volatility. A handful of economic reports could help provide direction.

Consumer spending and personal income rose 0.1% in July from June. Consumer spending was expected to rise 0.3%, while economists expected personal income to rise 0.2%. A separate report from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan at 9:55 a.m. ET is forecast to show consumer sentiment having risen  slightly in late August from earlier in the month.

Meanwhile, data due out at 9:45 a.m. ET, are expected to indicate the Midwest manufacturing sector revved up at a quicker rate in August from the month before.

In corporate news, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) cut about 1,000 jobs and closed two Ohio offices, according to news report. Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) revealed better-than-expected quarterly profits.

Elsewhere, the benchmark U.S. crude oil contract fell 71 cents, or 0.66%, to $108.05 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.7% to $3.045 a gallon. Gold sold off by $17.30, or 1.2%, to $1,396.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.75% to 2738, the English FTSE 100 dropped 0.49% to 6452 and the German DAX slumped 0.7% to 8138.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 slipped 0.53% to 13389 and the Chinese Hang Seng rose 0.12% to 21731.

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