Futures Slump as Time Running Out for 'Cliff' Deal

Stock index futures were lower across the board Friday, as Wall Street nervously looked to Washington to see if a deal on the "fiscal cliff" could be struck before the end of the year.

President Barack Obama will meet congressional leaders from both parties at the White House at 3 p.m., just days before the deadline to reach a deal or see the a series of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes come into force. That could plunge the economy back into recession, some economists say.

Stocks fell on Thursday but recovered most of their intraday losses after the House of Representatives said it would come back to work to avoid the "fiscal cliff" this weekend.

Investors will also keep an eye on economic data for clues on the health of the economy. November pending home sales numbers are due at 10 a.m. and crude inventory data is out at 11 a.m.

Hewlett-Packard confirmed that the Justice Department is looking into its allegations that Autonomy engaged in accounting fraud prior to its acquisition by HP last year.

Apple is among stocks in focus after a Chinese court fined the iPhone maker $160,000 for hosting third-party applications on its App Store that were selling pirated electronic books, Xinhua news agency said.

Among airlines, Raymond James raised its price target on Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, U.S. Airways, Spirit Airlines and Alaska Air.

Coming Up This Week:

FRIDAY: Chicago PMI, pending home sales, natural gas inventories

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