Wall Street looked poised for a lower open Friday, tracking European stocks down, and after a report showed a decline in personal spending.
"There’s a lot of things not in this market," Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS, told CNBC. "This market is still working its way out of crisis mode. It hasn’t come to grips with the recession that’s coming up, which is not going to look like a V or a U, it’s going to look like a bathtub and that will carry us longer and further than we would care to be."
Personal spending fell 0.3 percent, marking the first time in two years that consumers have cut their spending, even as income ticked up 0.1 percent. Spending came in as expected but economists expected a slightly higher bump in income.
Still to come is the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index will be released at 9:45 a.m. ET and consumer sentiment at 10 a.m.
Most Asian markets fell after the Bank of Japan's less-than-expected rate cut halted a powerful three-day rally, sending regional bonds and the yen higher.
A divided Bank of Japan cut interest rates for the first time in seven years.
On the vote of the governor after a 4-4 split on the policy board, the central bank trimmed its key interest rate to 0.3 percent from a decade-high 0.5 percent, despite knowing the reduction would have little economic impact as Japan feels the pain from the financial crisis.
In Europe, stocks were also lower as a slide in commodities prices weighed on shares.
German retail sales hit their lowest level since January 2007, fuelling recession fears In corporate news, a deal to merge General Motors and Chrysler hit an impasse after the White House ruled out funding for it, according to three people with direct knowledge of the talks.
Another deal may be off, with the chances that Google and Yahoo walking away from their planned search partnership rising, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The two Internet companies have so far failed to reach an agreement on their partnership with the Justice Department, which has been building a lawsuit to block the deal.
In earnings news, transatlantic exchange group NYSE Euronext said its adjusted operating net income for the third quarter rose 4 percent to $192 million, thanks to an increase in trading volumes.
Dow component Chevron is due to report results before the bell.