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Stocks - U.S. Futures Mixed as Weak Chinese Data Offsets Trade Progress

Investing.com – U.S. futures were mixed on Friday ahead of key data on the health of the U.S. economy,

Investing.com – U.S. futures were mixed on Friday ahead of key data on the health of the U.S. economy, as optimism over trade progress between Washington and Beijing was offset by signs of shrinking factory activity in China and Europe.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he could meet Chinese President Xi Jinping soon to seal a deal ahead of the March 1 trade deadline. The news was offset by worry that the global impact of the trade war between the two largest economies is still taking its toll, with the Caixin/Markit index of Chinese manufacturing falling to its lowest since February 2016.

The S&P 500 futures fell 1 point or 0.05% as of 6:41 AM ET (11:41 GMT) while Dow futures lost 31 points, or 0.13%. Meanwhile tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures decreased 31 points, or 0.46%.

Investors will pay close attention to the U.S. jobs data later in the day for any indication that the American economy has been impacted, with signs of slowing economic growth in Europe and China.

“Our view that the sell-off in Q4 2018, particularly in December, was an intra-cycle dip rather than the beginning of the end has held up, but Friday’s data dump will have a significant bearing on where we go from here,” Felipe Villarroel, portfolio manager at Zurich-based fund manager Vontobel, wrote in a note.

The U.S. jobs report is released at 8:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT), followed by the ISM manufacturing purchasing manager’s index and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment at 10:00 AM ET (15:00 GMT).

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) slumped 4.5% in premarket trading after its revenue guidance was short of estimates. Semiconductor company Micron (NASDAQ:MU) dipped 0.8% while PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) was down 0.7%.

Elsewhere Symantec Corp (NASDAQ:SYMC) jumped 8% after its earnings came in higher than expected, while Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) rose 1.6% and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) inched up 0.2%.

In other earnings news, oil majors Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon (NYSE:XOM) are expected to report before the opening bell, among others.

In commodities, gold futures rose 0.06% to $1,325.95 a troy ounce, while crude oil decreased 0.20% to $53.68 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.11% to 95.197.