Futures dip, setting up US markets for a down week

Associated Press
FILE - In this Friday, June 29, 2012 file photo, specialists Frank Masello, left, and John T. O'Hara work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York shortly before the closing bell. Global stock markets were choppy Friday Aug. 9, 2013 after China reported improved but still tepid economic data. (AP Photo/David Karp, File)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures are heading lower, setting up a lower week for major U.S. markets after a raft of disappointing corporate earnings and more evidence that shoppers remain tightfisted.

Dow Jones industrial futures are down 42 points to 15,410. The broader S&P futures have lost 5.2 points to 1,688.50. Nasdaq futures are down 4.75 points to 3,122.25.

Economic data suggesting that a six-month economic slowdown in China may be abating gave markets a lift Thursday. But that optimism began to fade as U.S. retail sales numbers for July revealed a slow start to the back-to-school shopping season.

Economists expect the Commerce Department to report Friday that U.S. stockpiles are being depleted, which would set the stage for stronger economic growth heading into fall.

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