March 23, 2012 at 9:33 AM ET
U.S. stocks slipped Friday after equities suffered their worst percentage drop in two weeks, with the S&P 500 on track for its first decline in the past six weeks.
The S&P lost 0.7 percent on Thursday, its biggest percentage drop since March 6. The benchmark index is still near four-year highs.
The benchmark S&P is down 0.8 percent for the week, and many investors were waiting for a further pullback as the index has risen 10.8 percent for the year and 26.7 percent from its October low.
Indexes could get a boost next week from quarter-end "window dressing" as fund managers drop poor performing stocks and chase better-performing ones.
Factory data showing a slowdown in both the euro zone and China sent the S&P 500 lower on Thursday to its first close closed below 1,400 in six sessions.
"Today investors are basically going to focus on the domestic economy, so new home sales could re-energize the upward trend," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
Zynga Inc dipped 1.9 percent to $13.50 in premarket trade after the online games maker said shareholders will sell about 43 million shares in a secondary offering.
Nike Inc was flat at $111 in premarket after the sportswear retailer forecast a strong year and said it was heading into the spring quarter with strong demand and improving margin trends.
Jobs search website Monster Worldwide Inc is open to selling all or part of itself and expects to have data ready for potential buyers fairly soon, Chief Executive Sal Iannuzzi said in an interview. Shares gained 1.8 percent to $9.66 premarket.
Darden Restaurants Inc posted higher third-quarter profit, boosted by increased sales at its Olive Garden chain.
European equities retreated further after four straight sessions of declines, stalked by concerns over the global growth outlook.
Asian shares fell after data showing shrinking factory activity in China and the euro zone heightened concerns about a slowdown in the global economy.
Reuters contributed to this report.