U.S. Stocks Headed for Weaker Open on Chinese Trade Data

U.S. stock index futures are headed for a weaker open this morning, with futures for the Standard & Poor’s 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 down 0.3% to 0.5%. The S&P 500 index may trim its fifth straight weekly advance, as worse-than-forecast Chinese trade data added to evidence the global economy is slowing. That was the longest winning streak for the S&P 500 index since March.

Troubled JCPenney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) this morning reported a greater-than-expected net loss for its second quarter. Shares were down 6% in premarket trading.

The Labor Department is scheduled to release data this morning on import and export prices in July. Import prices have been falling since April, and export prices have been declining since May. An update on the federal budget is set to be released in the afternoon. The deficit is expected to be significantly higher than the $60 billion deficit in June. Also, the Philadelphia Fed publishes its quarterly survey of professional forecasters today.

The disappointing data out of China also pushed European stocks were lower in morning trading. And bellwether Swiss food group Nestle pushed markets lower when its shares fell after a ratings cut.

But Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS) rose in European trading after it announced the appointment a new chairman, its first move to replace leaders ousted in wake of the Libor scandal.

Asian markets ended lower. The Shanghai Composite shed 0.2%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong retreated 0.7% and Japan’s Nikkei closed 1% lower.

Chinese exports, which had been gaining strength for the past few months, rose just 1% from a year earlier in July. Data the prior day showed deflation and falling consumer prices in a country.

Li & Fung Ltd., the world’s biggest supplier of clothes and toys to retailers, plunged in Hong Kong trading by the most since its 1992 listing after slowdowns in United States and Europe caused a slump in operating profit.

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