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US futures dip on European data, Fed minutes

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stock futures are falling as a sell-off that began the previous day on the release of Federal Reserve minutes gains more momentum with troublesome economic data from Europe.

Dow Jones industrial futures are down 35 points to 13,854. The broader S&P futures have lost 4.3 points to 1,502.80. Nasdaq futures are down 11.50 points to 2,726.

Europe's monthly purchasing managers' index _ a gauge of business activity _ showed that the economic downturn solidified in February. That suggests another quarter of falling output.

Also on Thursday, Wal-Mart topped profit expectations for the fourth quarter, but it warned of a slow start to the year. Many point to heavier payroll taxes that can have a disproportionate effect on lower-income workers.

Data is expected Thursday on U.S. housing and consumer prices.

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