(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures retreated on Friday with attention turning to retail sales figures for signs of a domestic rebound after Chinese figures pointed to a wobbly economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aggressive stimulus measures have helped Wall Street’s main indexes bounce from a coronavirus-driven crash in March, and the S&P 500 .SPX briefly traded above its Feb. 19 record close for a second straight day on Thursday. Still, the benchmark index has struggled to top its all-time high of 3,393.52, also set on Feb. 19, on growing evidence of a faltering labor market rebound. Data at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) is expected to show retail sales increased 1.9% last month after jumping 7.5% in June.
Figures earlier in the day showed a slower-than-expected rise in Chinese industrial production and a surprise fall in retail sales.
Negotiations between top Democrats and the White House over more stimulus measures to support the economy, particularly the battered jobs sector, have been a major point of focus.
Uncertainty over the timing of an agreement has undercut sentiment in recent sessions.
At 6:08 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 148 points, or 0.53%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 12.75 points, or 0.38% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 23.25 points, or 0.21%.
Applied Materials Inc (AMAT.O) rose 3.0% premarket as it forecast fourth-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates following a rebound in demand for chip equipment and services.
Chinese search engine giant Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) posted quarterly revenue a notch above estimates, but its shares slid 6% after its streaming service iQIYI (IQ.O) said it was being probed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
iQIYI shares dropped 11.4%.
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