Futures slip as weak Chinese data sparks growth fears; Cisco falls

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By Arjun Panchadar

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures slipped slightly on Thursday, a day after the S&P 500 and the closed at record highs, as weak Chinese economic data and a dour forecast from Cisco rekindled fears of a global slowdown.

Cisco Systems Inc (O:) fell 5.6% after the network gear maker said current-quarter revenue would fall 3% to 5% amid declining global spending on its routers and switches, some of which are made in China.

A 16-month trade war between the world’s two biggest economies has disrupted supply chains and hit economic growth. Data on Thursday showed China’s factory output growth slowed significantly more than expected in October, weighed down by tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by Washington and Beijing.

Hopes of a resolution to the dispute spurred Wall Street to record highs this month, but President Donald Trump recently tempered expectations with the threat of more tariffs if China failed to reach a deal.

Investors have closely tracked economic indicators to gauge the fallout of the trade war on the domestic economy. Fresh data from the Labor Department at 8:30 a.m. ET is expected to show a rebound in the purchasing price index in October after a dip in September.

All eyes are on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony before the House Budget Committee on Thursday after his comments about a “sustained expansion” ahead for the U.S. economy supported stock markets in the previous session.

A fairly better-than-expected corporate earnings season has also contributed to the stocks rally, with the benchmark S&P 500 index on course for its sixth straight weekly increase.

At 7:35 a.m. ET, were down 38 points, or 0.14%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 5.25 points, or 0.17% and were down 16.5 points, or 0.2%.

Walmart Inc (N:) rose 3.1% as the world’s biggest retailer reported better-than-expected third-quarter U.S. comparable sales on higher spending at its stores and website.

Viacom Inc (O:) gained 3.3% after the MTV-owner topped quarterly profit estimates, helped by a rise in domestic advertising revenue.

But Kraft Heinz Co (O:) fell 1.8% after a report that Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) had downgraded the food and beverage maker’s stock to “sell”.

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