* Consumer sentiment data on tap
* JCPenney shares slide after results
* President Obama to speak later on Friday
* Futures off: Dow 61 pts, S&P 7.3 pts, Nasdaq 5.5 pts
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Nov 9 U.S. stocks were set to slide
for a third day on Friday, on track for their worst weekly
retreat in five months, as the euro zone crisis extended its
reach an d investors fretted over a looming U.S. "fiscal cliff."
Growth in Germany, Europe's largest economy, is likely to
weaken in the next two quarters as firms postpone investments
while France's central bank said it expected the euro zone's
second-largest economy to slip into recession as 2012 ends.
Greece is fast running out of cash while it awaits the next
tranche of its 130-billion euro international bailout that is
keeping it afloat, a deputy finance minister said on Friday.
The euro dipped below $1.27 to hit a fresh two-month
low against the U.S dollar.
In a speech at 1:05 p.m. EST (1805 GMT), newly reelected
President Barack Obama is likely to discuss looming tax
increases and government spending cuts - the so-called fiscal
cliff - that would go into effect at the end of the year,
possibly driving the U.S. economy into recession unless Congress
acts to prevent them.
"We're going to get an initial reaction in the first five
minutes of his speech," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research
analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
"The media is focusing on the fiscal cliff, I think, because
Wall Street is focusing on it. Taxes really do matter and they
The S&P 500 closed Thursday below its 200-day moving average
for the first time in five months, a bearish technical signal
that could keep stocks under pressure.
S&P 500 futures fell 7.3 points and were below fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 61
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 5.5 points.
Groupon Inc's results, released Thursday, fell
short of Wall Street's expectations as the daily deal company
failed to turn around a struggling European business. The
company's shares slumped 23 percent in premarket trading Friday.
J.C.Penney shares fell more than 8 percent in
premarket trading after the retailer reported a
sharper-than-expected decline in quarterly sales at stores open
at least a year.
Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers
will release preliminary November consumer sentiment index at
9:55 a.m. (1455 GMT). Economists expect a sentiment reading of
83.0 compared with 82.6 in the final October report.
On a more positive note, mostly dismissed by the market,
Chinese data for October showed infrastructure investment
accelerated and factory output ran at its fastest in five