US STOCKS-Futures dip with focus on bank earnings, economy

Last Updated: Fri, Apr 12, 2013 11:20 hrs

NEW YORK, April 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Friday, a day after Wall Street scaled new heights, as investors awaited a round of economic data and quarterly results from major banks.

* The Dow and benchmark S&P 500 closed at fresh highs on Thursday, extending this year's rally to a 13.4 percent gain for the Dow and 11.7 percent for the broader S&P.

* The earnings season that got underway this week is being viewed as a test for whether the market can continue its upward momentum.

* Earnings are expected to grow at a modest 1.2 percent rate in the first quarter, down from forecasts of over 4 percent as recently as January, according to Thomson Reuters data.

* JP Morgan Chase reported first-quarter results early on Friday, and its stock was off 0.7 percent to $48.92 in premarket trading shortly after the results.

* Wells Fargo will release results later in the morning.

* S&P 500 futures fell 3.5 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 were down 38 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 6.75 points.

* A report on retail sales, due at 8:30 am EDT (1230 GMT) is expected to show sales flattened in March after a strong February. Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of economic activity.

* Other reports on tap include producer prices, consumer sentiment and business inventories.

* Investors have been rattled by indications the economy is cooling, particularly after last week's disappointing jobs number, though that has not derailed the market rally so far.

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