Futures Fall After Retail Sales, Bank Earnings
U.S. stock index futures extended their losses Friday, a day after the Dow and S&P 500 closed at fresh highs, following a weaker-than-expected retail sales report and dragged by financials.
On the economic front, retail sales unexpected contracted 0.4 percent in March, according to the Commerce Department, disappointing analysts who had expected a flat reading for the month.
Meanwhile, producer prices recorded their biggest drop in 10 months, falling 0.6 percent in March as the cost of gasoline tumbled, according to the Labor Department, giving further reason for the Federal Reserve to maintain its accommodative monetary policy. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected a decline of 0.2 percent.
In Europe, investors were cautious ahead of a two-day meeting between European Union finance ministers, at which Cyprus's 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout will be top of the agenda. The cost of Cyprus's bailout has ballooned and there are fears the aid promised to the country will be insufficient to help the Mediterranean country through a steep recession.
"The discussions on Cyprus's bailout program will once again highlight the severe damage being wrought on the economy and the Eurogroup's botched attempts at managing the crisis," Chris Scicluna, an economist at Daiwa Capital, said in a morning note.
The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey for April is due at 9.55 am ET. Analysts polled by Reuters forecast it will come in at 78.5; it stood at 78.6 in March. The index is likely to be boosted by the continued rally in equities and the decline in gasoline prices, although it remains some way below its historical average of 85.
And at 10 am, the Commerce Department will release February business inventories, which economists polled by Reuters see rising 0.4 percent, after a 1.0 percent gain in January.
Meanwhile, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed lower on Friday after Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda acknowledged that his inflation target is flexible and said he was watching for signs that excess liquidity was causing bubbles in markets. South Korea'sKospi finished 1.3 percent down, as investors remained cautious over tensions with North Korea.
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—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
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