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US stock-index futures dipped mildly on Friday, with investors awaiting a flood of key economic data as they look to gauge the strength of American consumers.

Ahead of the opening bell in New York, S&P 500 futures dipped 0.26 per cent to 2,384.8, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures declined 0.17 per cent to 20,834 and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.19 per cent to 5,660.

Investors were bracing for two critical slices of economic data due for release at 8:30 am in Washington. Retail sales are forecast to have rebounded by 0.6 per cent month-on-month in April, after a 0.2 per cent dip in March.

Meanwhile, core consumer prices are expected to have risen 0.2 per cent in April from the month before, also bouncing back from a 0.1 per cent decline the previous month.

The duo will provide a key indicator of whether consumption growth picked up in the second quarter after starting the year on a weak note. The importance has been sharpened after several department-store chains on Thursday disclosed weaker quarterly sales than Wall Street anticipated.

To that end, JC Penney is slated to release its quarterly results later on Friday morning.

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