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Stock futures fall further after big sell-off

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U.S. stock futures and global markets were dropping again Friday following Thursday’s big sell-off on Wall Street that saw the Dow tumble 317 points –  its third-biggest loss of the year.

Financial markets went into a tailspin Thursday after Argentina defaulted on its debt, raising fears among skittish investors already fretting about weak corporate earnings growth, rising interest rates and an aging bull market.

Friday, Dow futures were down 0.5%, S&P 500 futures were down 0.5% and Nasdaq futures dipped 0.6%. Earlier Friday all the major pre-market indexes saw gains.

All eyes will be on jobs data before the market opens as the U.S. Labor Dept. releases its monthly employment report for July at 8:30 am. ET.

European markets were falling sharply. Britain’s FTSE 100 index dropped 1.4% and Germany’s DAX index tumbled 1.9%.

Asian stock markets fell but losses were limited by upbeat reports on China’s economy. An official purchasing managers’ index in China rose to its highest level in 27 months.  A separate factory report by HSBC showed the strongest rate of improvement in a year and a half.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.6% on Friday to 15, 523.11 and Hond Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.9% to 24,532.43

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