* U.Mich consumer sentiment survey, key indicators on tap
* Gap climbs after earnings
* Futures: Dow off 5 pts, S&P off 1.1 pt, Nasdaq up 2.75 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Aug 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes edged lower
on Friday, after enjoying its biggest gain in two weeks
Thursday, ahead of reports on consumer mindset and a gauge of
leading economic indicators.
Investors awaited the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan
surveys' August preliminary consumer sentiment index, due at
9:55 a.m. ET (1355 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey expect a
reading of 72.4 compared with 72.3 in the final July report.
Shortly thereafter at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT) the
Conference Board releases its report on July leading economic
indicators. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a 0.2
percent rise compared with a 0.3 percent drop in June.
"We have leading economic indicators, consumer sentiment but
you've got a Friday so you could see some profit taking," said
Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham
Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.
"You've got good and bad there - if the numbers are really
good, that maybe delays the Fed, if the numbers are real bad,
maybe that pushes the Fed" toward further economic stimulus
measures, he said.
The S&P rallied for six days through Aug. 10, its longest
run of gains since December 2010, boosted by the anticipation of
more stimulus from central banks in the United States and euro
zone to stimulate their respective economies in September.
Since Aug. 10, the S&P 500 had been little changed until
Thursday, when comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel -
which reinforced investor expectations for action - lifted the
benchmark index by its biggest percentage gain since August 3 to
a four-month peak.
"It's all about Europe and Merkel's comments coming out
which appeared to support Draghi, indicates that unless the
German constitutional court does something outrageous, we may be
moving in the right direction here - at least in the short
term," Mendelsohn said.
S&P 500 futures fell 1.1 points and were slightly
below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking
into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of
the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 5
points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 2.75 points.
Europe's top share index hit a 13-month high and was on
track to record its best weekly winning streak in seven years on
expectations that euro zone policymakers might resolve their
differences and work closely to tackle the debt crisis.
Gap advanced 1.5 percent to $34.85 in premarket
trade after the clothing retailer posted a higher quarterly
profit and raised its full-year forecast.
Foot Locker Inc jumped 6.3 percent to $36.65 in
premarket after the athletic footwear retailer posted
second-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street estimates.
Marvell Technology Group Ltd dropped 9.6 percent to
$11.10 before the bell after the chipmaker posted second-quarter
earnings and said current-quarter results may miss expectations.
Network storage equipment maker Brocade Communication
Systems Inc's third-quarter results beat Wall Street
estimates, boosted by a 13 percent rise in storage equipment
sales, and the company said its chief executive intends to
resign. Its shares were unchanged at $5.63.
J.M. Smucker Co, the maker of Folgers coffee and Jif
peanut butter, posted better-than-expected quarterly results as
price cuts helped demand.
Thomson Reuters data shows that of the 468 companies in the
S&P 500 that have reported earnings through Thursday morning, 68
percent beat analysts' expectations, about the same rate as over
the past four quarters.
Asian stocks rose after Merkel's comments supporting the
ECB's efforts to contain the euro zone debt crisis.