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US STOCKS-Futures decline with GDP data on tap; Amazon slips

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Fri, Apr 26, 2013 12:10 hrs

* GDP, consumer confidence data due

* Starbucks slips in premarket after results

* Futures off: Dow 31 pts, S&P 4.2 pts, Nasdaq 10.25 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, April 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures dipped on Friday, indicating the S&P 500 may snap a five-day winning streak ahead of data on the pace of economic growth and consumer sentiment.

Economic data due at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) is expected to show U.S. economic growth likely rebounded in the first quarter after nearly stalling at the end of 2012, but the trend is likely temporary.

Gross domestic product probably grew at a 3.0 percent annual rate, quickening from the fourth quarter's pedestrian 0.4 percent pace, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

Later in the session at 9:55 a.m. (1355 GMT), investors will eye the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers final April consumer sentiment index. Economists expect a reading of 73.2, compared with 72.3 in the preliminary April report.

"These two numbers will be very interesting today, maybe some people are getting ahead of that and probably taking some money off the table in the futures market, hedging themselves a little bit," said Keith Bliss, senior vice-president at Cuttone & Co in New York.

"If we get a good GDP and outlays and consumer sentiment number then it's not too late for them to jump back in."

Starbucks Corp slipped 2.2 percent to $59.20 in premarket trading after the world's biggest coffee chain reported a quarterly profit that matched Wall Street estimates but its revenue was slightly below expectations.

S&P 500 companies expected to report earnings on Friday include Dow component Chevron Corp, Flir Systems and Goodyear Tire & Rubber.

Amazon.com Inc's shed 2.5 percent to $267.80 in premarket trading after revenue growth slowed in the first quarter as the world's largest Internet retail struggled overseas, but margins jumped on lower shipping expenses and the expansion of more profitable new businesses.

S&P 500 futures fell 4.2 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 31 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 10.25 points.

D.R. Horton Inc shares jumped 6 percent to $26 in premarket after the No.1 U.S. homebuilder reported a 173 percent jump in quarterly profit and said the spring selling season was off to a strong start.

Forest products company Weyerhaeuser Co reported a first-quarter net profit that more than tripled due to a recovery in the U.S. housing market, and said it expects higher sales volumes for all its wood products for the current quarter. Its shares gained 1.8 percent to $31.95 in light trading before the opening bell.

According to Thomson Reuters data through Thursday morning, of the 235 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to date for Q1 2013, 67.7 percent have reported earnings above analyst expectations, above the 63 percent average since 1994 and slightly above the 67 percent beat rate over the past four quarters.

However, revenue has been lackluster, with only 41.4 percent having topped analyst forecasts, well below the 62 percent average since 2002 and the 52 percent beat rate for the last four quarters.

Analysts now see earnings growth of 3.6 percent this quarter, up from expectations of 1.5 percent at the start of the month.

Disappointing corporate earnings pushed European shares lower, halting momentum on indexes which had risen over the previous five sessions.

Asian shares rose, tracking global equities higher after an upbeat report on the U.S. labor market.




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