U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply lower open on Friday, brushing off better than expected economic data and instead focusing on the collapse of the Republicans’ “Plan B” vote in the House of Representatives, aimed at offering a solution to the U.S. “fiscal cliff”.
At 8:30 a.m., Dow futures were down 187 points, while S&P 500 futures were down 22 points. Both implied a greater than 1 percent decline at the open. The NYSE will observe a moment of silence to honor the Newtown, Conn. shooting victims at 9:30 a.m.
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With time running short to find a solution before Christmas, the White House said it would work with Congress to avoid the series of tax increases and spending cuts set to kick in at the start of next year. President Barack Obama said he was hopeful a deal can be reached quickly.
House Speaker John Boehner has scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference to talk about the next step.