* Futures off: Dow 12 pts, S&P 1.3 pts, Nasdaq 1 pt
* Japan's gross domestic product weaker-than-expected
* Julius Baer to buy BofA's non-U.S. Merrill Lynch wealth
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Aug 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a slightly lower open on Monday after six straight
sessions of gains by the S&P 500 as Japan showed signs of
Japan's economy expanded just 0.3 percent in April-June,
half the pace expected, data showed, raising doubts about the
strength of the recovery. Meanwhile, Europe's debt crisis
weighed on worldwide demand.
Investors' hopes for central bank easing amid signs of
global weakness have contributed to stock market gains.
"Japan was a little weaker than expected. It might raise
hopes that there might be some central bank coordination, but
I'm not seeing that in any of the markets today," said Fred
Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake
"We are a bit extended. We just need a little bit of
settling back down after a fairly substantial run-up."
Late on Friday, the president of the San Francisco Federal
Reserve said the Fed should launch a fresh round of bond buying
to lower the U.S. unemployment rate more quickly, fuelling
speculation that the central bank could soon unveil a new round
of quantitative easing.
The benchmark S&P index has risen 2.99 percent over the past
six sessions, its longest rally since December 2010, but the
index has risen only 0.3 percent in the past three sessions as
the S&P hovers near levels not seen since early May.
"The market has had a small, positive consolidation just
above the key 1,400 level, with no clear theme in either
direction. The market is biding time," said Andre Bakhos,
director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York.
"With no economic data scheduled today, investors will look
to the rest of a busy week for more direction."
S&P 500 futures were off 1.3 points and were slightly
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 12 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 1 point.
Swiss private bank Julius Baer is to buy Bank of
America's Merrill Lynch wealth manager outside the
United States, paying 860 million Swiss francs ($882 million)
for the loss-making business to boost its assets managed by 40
percent and backing the deal with plans to raise 1.19 billion
Swiss francs ($1.22 billion) in new capital. Bank of America
shares gained 0.3 percent to $7.76 in premarket trading.
Motorola Mobility has told employees it plans to slash 20
percent of its workforce and shut down nearly a third of its
offices worldwide, the New York Times reported. Shares of parent
company Google Inc advanced 1.1 percent to $648.71 in
trading before the open.
Comverse Technology Inc said it had agreed to be
acquired by Verint Systems Inc following the planned
spin-off of its Comverse Inc telecom business. Comverse shares
gained 3.5 percent to $5.90 in premarket trading.
Sysco Corp shares edged up 0.1 percent at $28.88
before market's open after the food distributor reported
According to Thomson Reuters data through Friday, of the 449
companies in the S&P 500 that have reported second-quarter
earnings to date 68 percent have reported earnings above analyst
expectations, matching the beat rate for the last four quarters.