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) -- U.S. stock futures were dropping amid disappointing economic data abroad that exacerbated worries about global economic growth.

Futures for the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

were down 102 points, or 83 points below fair value, at 10997. Futures for the

S&P 500

were down 12 points, or 10 points below fair value, at 1145, and


futures were down 17 points, or 21 points below fair value at 2172.

The past two sessions have seen the Dow open solidly higher, only to lose steam by the close, suggesting that buying conviction has been weak. Recent technical analysis suggests that stocks might slip into a bear market, leading investors to try to hedge themselves amid hope that a possible solution to stem Europe's debt crisis provides upward momentum in the market.

A reading on manufacturing in China declined for a third month in September, according to a report from HSBC Holdings and Markit Economics. Retail sales in Germany, Europe's largest economy, came in below expectations, dropping 2.9% in July. The reading marked the biggest drop in more than four years and underscored a possible slowdown in the global economy.

Also contributing to the morning's negative sentiment was an increase of eurozone inflation by 3% in September. Inflation exceeded the European Central Bank's target of below 2%, as well as economists' expectations for 2.5%, leading some to believe that the ECB may not lower interest rates.

Futures were holding steady after a weak report on consumer income and spending. In August, personal income slipped 0.1% and spending increased 0.2%, according to the Commerce Department. Economists were looking for slight gains to income and spending 0.1% and 0.2%. In July, spending rose a revised 0.7%, while income decreased a revised 0.2%.

In Europe, stocks were headed to close out the worst quarter since 2008. London's FTSE was down 1.5% while Germany's DAX was down 2.7%. Asian markets closed lower, with Japan's Nikkei Average down 0.01% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng plummeting 2.32%.

Window dressing -- when investors and fund managers need to move into better performing assets before the end of a quarter -- is also expected to play a key role in how markets finish the session, which marks the end of the month and quarter. The Dow is down almost 4% in September so far.

The S&P 500, which is now trading within a range, may move lower into October, according to Mark Arbeter, chief technical strategist at S&P Capital IQ, in a research note. Strategists are eyeing the 1100 mark because a drop below that may mean that the index has further lows to test, he explained.

On the upside, Europe is getting closer to passing a proposal to expand the eurozone bailout fund. The last two countries to approve the plan were Germany and Estonia on Thursday. However, the possibility of levering up the fund to inject capital into the European financial system is still in debate.

China-based companies with U.S. listings are expected to face another volatile session after Reuters reported Thursday afternoon that the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are digging deeper into investigating the companies' accounting practices.

At 9:45 a.m. ET, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for September will be released. The index is considered a leading indicator for national manufacturing index. August's reading was a disappointment, falling to 56.5, the lowest level since November 2009. The consensus view is for a third straight sequential decline to 54.0, still above 50, which is considered the division between contraction and expansion.

Shortly afterward at 9:55 a.m. ET, and the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for September is due. Big surprises aren't expected since economists have accepted that sentiment has been low. Economists are calling for the reading to slip to 57.5 from the preliminary reading of 57.8, which was the lowest level in more than 30 years.

Chip maker

Micron Technology

(MU) - Get Free Report

posted a

surprise quarterly loss on flat sales and declining margins.

The company said it lost $135 million, or 14 cents a share, for the fourth quarter on revenue totaling $2.14 billion, down from a year-ago profit of $342 million, or 32 cents a share, on revenue of $2.49 billion. Micron also gave a word of warning to investors about the coming jury decision in its antitrust case with


(RMBS) - Get Free Report

, saying it can't "reasonably" estimate the range of possible losses from the suit. Shares were plunging 5.8% to $5.53 in premarket trading Friday.

Industrial and commercial products company


(IR) - Get Free Report

has lowered its third-quarter earnings projections to 77 cents a share to 80 cents a share, from 85 cents a share to 95 cents a share. Shares were falling 5.5% to $30.21.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was gaining 16/32, pushing the yield to 1.947%. The euro was dropping while the dollar was strengthening against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index inching up 0.512%.

Gold for December delivery was climbing by $10.10 to trade at $1627.40.

The November crude oil contract was slipping 10 cents to trade at $82.04 a barrel.

-- Written by Chao Deng in New York