Stock Market Today: Futures Dip; U.S. Retail Sales Match Forecasts

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock index futures slipped on Friday as investors digested a retail sales print that matched expectations.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 12 points, or 8 points below fair value, to 16,948. S&P 500 futures fell 1.25 points, or 0.6 points below fair value, to 1,987.75. Nasdaq futures were off 3.2 points, or 2.25 points below fair value, to 4,080.3.

U.S. stock indices finished with a lack of conviction on Thursday amid uncertainties about the U.S.'s renewed involvement in the Middle East and concerns for the direction of the global economy. 

Retail sales jumped by an as-expected 0.6% in August, and July's previously flat retail sales reading was upwardly revised to a 0.3% increase, the Census Bureau reported. The report was the most important data point of the week since last week's tepid job report.

"After a fairly weak retail sales reading in July, a snapback in August was always expected and that's what we got," said Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG.

Import prices for August were subdued, with a 0.9% month-over-month decline.

Other U.S. reports on Friday will include the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index for September at 9:55 a.m. EDT and business inventories for July at 10 a.m.

In widely watched corporate news Friday, Hertz (HTZ) , the rental company, popped 4.36% to $28.96 in premarket trading after reaching an agreement in principle with billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn to appoint three new board members.

Alliance Data Systems (ADS) , which manages credit cards and loyalty programs for retailers, agreed to buy digital marketing company Conversant (CNVR) for about $2.3 billion. Conversant soared 31.79% to $35.20 while Alliance advanced 2.65% to $259.56.

Ulta Salon (ULTA) , the beauty products retailer, saw its shares surge 16.15% to $113.22 after it reported better-than-expected second-quarter results and raised its outlook for the year.

General Motors (GM) issued a "stop delivery" order that will interrupt supply of one of its hottest selling vehicles: the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, The Wall Street Journal reported. Shares fell 0.77% to $33.35.

The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) fell 0.38% to $119.02 in premarket trading.

-- By Andrea Tse in New York

Follow @AndreaTTse

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