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US stock index futures signal mixed open


PARIS |
Thu Feb 7, 2013 9:55am GMT

PARIS Feb 7 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures pointed to
a mixed open on Wall Street on Thursday. Futures for the SP 500
were down 0.05 percent, Dow Jones futures down
0.07 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.05 percent at
0933 GMT.

* European shares steadied on Thursday as investors awaited
the European Central Bank’s policy meeting later in the day and
President Mario Draghi’s views on the region’s growth prospects.

* Draghi faces a grilling over the euro’s sharp rise and
his connection to an Italian banking scandal at the ECB meeting
where interest rates are almost certain to be unchanged.

* Visa Inc’s quarterly profit beat analysts’ estimates
for the ninth consecutive quarter.

* Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp on Wednesday reported
higher quarterly revenue and profit on strong growth at its
cable assets including its Regional Sports and FX networks.

* Boeing Co is working on battery design changes that
would minimize fire risks on its grounded 787 Dreamliner and
could have the passenger jet flying again as soon as March, the
Wall Street Journal reported.

* Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc forecast sales
growth for the current quarter that is slightly lower than
analysts expected as retailers work through unsold inventory of
its products after a slower-than-expected holiday season.

* Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, the main
manufacturer of Apple Inc products, said on Thursday
consolidated January sales dropped 8.19 percent from a year
earlier.

* A U.S. judge threw out a lawsuit from South Korea’s Woori
Bank accusing Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch unit
of misleading investors about the riskiness of collateralized
debt obligations, saying the suit had missed a deadline under
South Korean law.

* CVS Caremark Corp said on Wednesday it bought
Drogaria Onofre, Brazil’s eighth-largest drugstore chain last
week, marking the first time the drugstore and pharmacy services
company has ventured outside the United States.

* Michael Dell and his investment firm are putting up $750
million in cash toward the $24.4 billion purchase of Dell Inc
to help bankroll the largest private equity-backed
buyout since the financial crisis.

* Yelp Inc posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly
loss and its shares fell 6 percent in after-market trading as
the consumer review website faces competition from Facebook Inc
.

* Chipmaker TriQuint Semiconductor Inc forecast
current-quarter results below analysts’ estimates after some
orders were pulled into the fourth quarter, sending its shares
down 8 percent.

* Allstate Corp’s quarterly profit fell 45 percent
on losses from superstorm Sandy, but the home and auto insurer
said it has paid out about 95 percent of Sandy claims and is
seeing rate increases across businesses.

* Herbalife Inc disclosed more information on
Wednesday about how much its U.S. distributors earn, looking to
provide more clarity as it defends its business model from
critics like billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman.

* On the macro front, investors awaited weekly jobless
claims, due at 1330 GMT, as well as quarterly data on
productivity and unit labor costs, also due at 1330 GMT.

* Among the companies set to report results on Thursday
feature Coca-Cola Enterprises, Hasbro, Inc.

, Philip Morris International and Sprint
Nextel Corp..

* U.S. stocks ended mostly flat on Wednesday, taking another
pause in the recent rally that has driven the SP 500 to
five-year highs, as transportation and technology shares lost
ground.

* The Dow Jones industrial average was up 7.22
points, or 0.05 percent, at 13,986.52. The Standard Poor’s 500
Index was up 0.83 points, or 0.05 percent, at 1,512.12.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 3.10 points, or 0.10
percent, at 3,168.48.

(244)

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