NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures headed down Friday, the last trading day of the quarter, as investors fretted over the economy of Spain and absorbed a disappointing report on U.S. consumer spending.
The Spanish government announced big spending cuts on Thursday aimed at convincing potential bailout creditors and investors that it has a rock-solid plan to heal its public finances. But the positive momentum generated that budget ground to a halt, as investors awaited more news, including stress test results into 14 banks due after European markets close.
The Moody's rating agency is also expected to weigh in on Spain's creditworthiness, and there are concerns the government's rating will be cut to "junk" status.
Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 63 points to 13,351. The broader Standard and Poor's 500 futures slid 6.1 points to 1,435. Nasdaq 100 futures gave up 8 points to 2,806.5.
The U.S. markets appeared poised to follow European indices down. Madrid's IBEX index traded 1.1 percent lower at 7,756. Elsewhere, Germany's DAX was 0.48 percent lower at 7,254 while the CAC-40 in France fell 1.3 percent to 3,394. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.1 percent lower at 5,771.
A report on U.S. consumer spending didn't offer any help. Even though the Commerce Department said spending rose 0.5 percent in August — the biggest jump since February— most of the increase went for higher gas prices.
That meant less growth elsewhere for strained household budgets. Spending on items expected to last at least three years like appliances and automobiles, rose 0.3 percent. And incomes rose just 0.1 percent, reflecting weak job growth.
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