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Stock Futures Dip After Consumer Spending Report


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were slipping Monday after data showed a sequential slowdown in consumer spending last month.

Worries about the sovereign debt situation in Europe also returned after Spain reported a 0.3% decline in gross domestic product for the first quarter, a performance that was actually a bit better than expected but still pushed the country closer to recession territory.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average off 24 points, or 32.3 points below fair value, at 13,140. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 3.4 points, or 4.2 points below fair value, at 1395, and futures for the Nasdaq were retracting 10.3 points higher, or 10.6 points below fair value, at 2727.

U.S. stocks finished Friday with polite gains as investors looked past a tepid report on economic growth in the first quarter and concentrated on what's been a decent first-quarter earnings season. This week, macro headlines are expected to grab the spotlight.

Before the bell, the Commerce Department posted slightly better-than-expected personal income data for March along with a slight miss on personal spending for the period. Income rose 0.4%, compared with the 0.3% rise expected by economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Personal spending was up 0.3%, compared with 0.4% improvement expected by economists. In February, income rose by an upwardly-revised 0.3% and spending increased by an upwardly-revised 0.9%.

The April Chicago purchasing managers index will be released at 9:45 a.m. ET. The barometer of business activity is expected to fall to 61 from the previous read of 62.2, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

London's FTSE was falling 0.6% and Germany's DAX was down 0.4%.

Spanish gross domestic product contracted less than previously forecast in the first quarter, down 0.3% and unchanged from the preceding three months, according to the National Statistics Institute in Madrid. On April 23, the Bank of Spain had announced a decline of 0.4%. The National Statistics Institute also said that GDP fell 0.4% from a year ago in the first quarter.

"This behavior was due to the negative contribution by domestic demand, partly compensated by the positive contribution of foreign demand," the Institute said in a press release.

Japan's Nikkei Average finished down 0.4% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.7%.

In corporate news, Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) has agreed to make a $300 million investment for a 17.6% stake in a new Barnes & Noble ( BKS) subsidiary that will bring together the bookseller's digital and college businesses. Barnes & Noble shares were nearly doubling in premarket action.

Also, NYSE Euronext (NYX) said its first-quarter adjusted earnings declined 32%. The exchange saw a slowdown in trading, particularly in its derivatives trading unit, and was hit by costs associated with its failed merger with Germany's Deutsche Boerse. Adjusted profit in the quarter was 47 cents a share; analysts were looking for 48 cents.

Warner Chilcott ( WCRX ), the drug maker, is weighing options including a possible sale after receiving interest from strategic and private-equity buyers, according to people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg reported.

In commodity markets, the June crude oil contract was off 69 cents and trading at $104.24 a barrel. June gold futures were down $2.20 to $1,662.60 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 5/32, diluting the yield to 1.923%. The dollar was rising by 0.2% against a basket of currencies, according to the dollar index.


--Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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