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Stocks lower as Europe events eyed

Updated at 9:33 a.m. ET: Stocks slipped Friday after Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany, as well as France, want Greece to stay in the euro zone but that Athens must meet its commitments.

The S&P 500 could test support at 1,400 again, after hitting a session low of 1,400.5 on Thursday on its way to posting its largest decline in a month. The index hasn't closed below 1,400 since the first Monday of August and is on track for only its first weekly decline in seven.

Futures held on to losses after data showed new orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods surged in July, even as declines in a gauge of planned business spending pointed to a slowing growth trend in manufacturing.

The mixed data added to the market uncertainty on whether the Federal Reserve will soon act in support of the economy.

Uncertainty over how euro zone policymakers will attempt to make Spain's borrowing costs affordable and renewed worries over Greece, kept traders away from risky assets. Germany's Merkel said talks with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras were a good start but there was still much to do.

"If you are a bull and want central banks to absorb debt issues you want to hear (Merkel) sound acquiescing," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh. "That's not where she was starting the conversation from."

Forrest said Europe is flaring up again and the time is now to see if the euro zone will stand behind European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's commitment to do whatever it takes to save the euro.

Autodesk shares were downgraded by various brokerages a day after the design software maker's quarterly results fell short of expectations for the first time in nearly two years.

Salesforce.com shares fell a day after third-quarter earnings outlook missed analysts' estimates.

Supervalu shares jumped as its advisers sought potential buyers to bid for the entire business, even as several suitors have inquired about individual parts of the U.S. grocery company, according to a Bloomberg report.

Reuters contributed to this report.