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Futures tilt lower despite upbeat China data

U.S. stock index futures were in the red Friday, putting major indexes on track for their worst week since June, despite an upbeat industrial output report from China.

(Read more: Early movers: BBRY, ONXX, JPM & more)

Major averages have been dented this week amid uncertainty about when the Fed may start winding down its stimulus program. The Dow and S&P 500 have declined more than 1 percent each for the week. The Dow is poised to log its first weekly drop in seven.

Most recently, Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher reiterated on Thursday that the central bank will likely begin cutting back on its massive bond-buying stimulus in September as long as economic data continues to improve.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite rallied 1 percent for the week to close above the 2,050 mark, lifted by better-than-expected industrial output numbers for July, plus a healthy increase in fixed asset investment in the first seven months of the year. Meanwhile, Chinese consumer prices were unchanged in July on the previous month, and producer prices fell an annualized 2.3 percent.

"More spending is called for, while further acceleration in credit growth is discouraged. This approach requires significant improvement in capital allocation efficiency to work. There is no quick magic, and so patience and tolerance is still required," analysts at SG Global Economics wrote in a research note.

(Read more: China's factories remain in deflation, producer prices show)

Meanwhile, a marginally weaker yen helped Japan's benchmark Nikkei index rebound from the previous day's one-month low. Dollar-yen traded at the 96.60 handle, after hitting a new seven-week low overnight.

On the economic front, June wholesale inventory data and sales data are due at 10 am ET. Inventories are expected to gain 0.4 percent while sales are expected to rise 0.7 percent.

BlackBerry soared after Reuters reported that the troubled smartphone maker is looking to the possibility of going private. Shares have plunged more than 30 percent in the last three months amid increasing competition from Apple and Samsung.

Among earnings, Priceline.com surged after the travel website posted earnings that beat expectations and handed in a strong outlook. The stock is on the cusp of crossing above $1,000 a share.

Lions Gate rose after the entertainment company posted earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street estimates.

JCPenney slipped after the chairman of the retailer's board responded to hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman's most recent letter, saying the company has "made significant progress" since Mike Ullman returned as its CEO four months ago, adding that Ullman has "the overwhelming support of the board."

(Read more: JCPenney board erupts into fight over next CEO)

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