Futures slide ahead of consumer data

May 31, 2013
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A riot policeman fires rubber bullets against demonstrators during a general strike in Pamplona, northern Spain on Thursday, May 30, 2013. People protested against the austerity measures and the economic crisis affecting the country with more than six million unemployed. Background is a fire lit by demonstrators. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures are falling on the final trading day of May, ahead of new data expected to show that consumers took a break in April from their breakneck spending pace.

Dow Jones industrial futures are down 69 points to 15,250. S&P futures have lost 7.2 points to 1,646.20. Nasdaq futures are down 12.5 points to 2,997.50.

Economists expect the Commerce Department to report Friday that consumer spending in April was flat. Consumer spending is a huge engine for the U.S. growth, making up 70 percent of all economic activity.

But futures followed European markets down early on more bad economic news. Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said Friday that employment across the 17 European Union countries hit a record 12.2 percent in April.