US STOCKS-Index futures signal early dip; economic data eyed

Last Updated: Tue, Sep 18, 2012 11:10 hrs

* NAHB homebuilder index on tap

* AMD shares drop as CFO to leave

* Stock futures down: Dow 29 pts, S&P 3 pts, Nasdaq 5.25 pts

By Edward Krudy

New York, Sept 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures retreated for a second day on Tuesday, suggesting stocks would continue to ease from multi-year highs as investors looked to upcoming economic data to help extend the central bank stimulus rally of recent weeks.

* U.S. stocks have rallied 7.0 percent since early August, propelling the S&P 500 index to near 5 year highs on central bank stimulus in Europe and the United States. But analysts say that for the rally to continue economic data needs to improve.

* "The market may already have "prepaid" for the QE3 easing announcement," said Goldman Sachs in a research note. "For the equity market moves to extend, an improvement in the macro data will now need to show up."

* The NAHB Housing Market Index at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT) is expected to be little changed in September after unexpectedly gaining in the previous two months. However, at 37 on the index sentiment remains well below the 50s to 70s seen in the 1990s and 2000s.

* Advanced Micro Devices Inc shares fell 6.5 percent in premarket trade. The firm said Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seifert was leaving the struggling personal computer chipmaker to pursue other opportunities.

* S&P 500 futures fell 3 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 fell 29 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 5.25 points.

* European shares and the euro fell on Tuesday as investors turned their attention from central bank stimulus to slowing global growth and uncertainty about Spain's desire for an international aid package.

* Dole Food Company Inc will sell two businesses to Itochu Corp for $1.7 billion in cash - a deal that will help the world's largest fruit and vegetable producer pay down its heavy debt load while expanding Itochu's food presence in new markets such as China.

* Time Warner Cable Inc has put a process in motion to sell its stake in wireless service provider Clearwire Corp , according to a regulatory filing.

* A U.S. regulation that limits how much of its own capital a bank can put at risk is causing headaches for Morgan Stanley as it prepares to raise a new multi-billion-dollar global infrastructure fund, people familiar with the situation said.

* European car sales fell 8.5 percent in August, for an 11th straight monthly decline led by Ford, General Motors and Fiat and mid-market brands bore the brunt of the slump in markets including Italy, France and Germany.

* U.S. stocks fell on Monday in light trading after a rally that drove the S&P 500 last week to its highest level in nearly five years and as falling oil prices hit energy shares.

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