NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower open on Friday morning after soft retail sales data and after a report emerged that President Obama plans to nominate former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as the next Federal Reserve chairman.
Futures for the S&P 500 were sliding 0.36% to 1,679.
The Commerce Department reported Friday that August retail sales grew 0.2% month-over-month, and showed slower growth from the prior month's revised 0.4% clip. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting retail sales in August to rise 0.4%.Futures already were trending lower before the economic data as the report of a Summers appointment came from the Japanese newspaper, Nikkei, which cited unnamed sources. Market participants have viewed a possible Summers appointment as a more hawkish selection to lead the Fed than Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen, despite the fact that Obama's former National Economic Council director has shown a willingness to continue monetary stimulus. Investors view the Fed's economic stimulus program as positive for equities, and analysts generally credit quantitative easing as part of the reason major U.S. equity markets reached recent all-time highs since a bottom in March 2009. Producer prices in August grew 0.3%, while the core rate increased at the same pace from a year ago at 1.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists were looking for producer prices to rise 0.2% in August after no change in July, while core prices were expected to rise 1.3%. In company news, micro-blogging platform Twitter announced Thursday afternoon that it had filed its S-1 confidential registration statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission as a first step toward listing on the public exchanges. Details were immediately unclear as the S-1, made possible by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups or JOBS Act, allows for companies that made less than $1 billion in prior-year revenue to file confidentially. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) plans to spend another $4 billion and commit 5,000 extra employees this year to address risk and compliance problems, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.
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