U.S. Stock Futures Maintain Losses After Consumer Spending Data

U.S. stock futures maintained losses as a report showed consumer spending barely rose in August after adjusting for inflation.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index stock futures expiring in December fell 0.5 percent to 1,433.30 at 8:33 a.m. in New York.

Household purchases rose 0.5 percent, matching the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg and the biggest gain since February, according to data from the Commerce Department issued in Washington today. The gain mainly reflected a 0.4 percent jump in prices, the biggest since March 2011, leaving so-called real spending up 0.1 percent.

A slack job market and higher gasoline prices are squeezing households, whose spending accounts for 70 percent of the economy. At the same time, rising stock prices and an improving housing market are lifting consumer confidence, which may help underpin demand.

The S&P 500 has risen 2.9 percent in September and is on pace for its fourth monthly advance, the longest streak since March. The index is heading for a 6.2 percent gain this quarter. Investors bought stocks amid better-than-estimated earnings and government measures to stimulate the economy.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeff Sutherland at jsutherlan13@bloomberg.net

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