US STOCKS-Futures dip as Intel offsets China data; earnings in focus

NEW YORK Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:27pm GMT

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NEW YORK Jan 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Friday after a disappointing earnings outlook from Intel offset news of better-than-expected economic growth in China.

* Shares of Intel Corp slumped 4.9 percent at $21.57 in premarket trading after the tech company forecast quarterly revenue that missed expectations. A sharp increase in capital spending plans for the year also concerned analysts.

* China's economy grew at a modestly faster-than-expected 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, the latest sign the world's second-biggest economy was pulling out of a post-global financial crisis slowdown which saw it grow last year at its weakest pace since 1999.

* Investors have focused on earnings this week and S&P 500 company earnings are expected to have risen 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter, Thomson Reuters data showed. Expectations for the quarter have dropped considerably since October, when a 9.9 percent gain was estimated.

* S&P 500 futures fell 0.5 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 3 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 11 points.

* General Electric reported a rise in earnings for the fourth-quarter, pushing its shares up 2.5 percent at $21.83.

* Stronger-than-expected economic data helped send the S&P 500 to its highest level in five years on Thursday. The index is now just 5.6 percent from a record closing peak of 1,565.15.

* AT&T warned after Thursday's closing bell that it will take a fourth-quarter charge of about $10 billion due to bigger-than-expected pension obligations. Shares of the telephone company fell 1.2 percent to $32.80 in premarket trading Friday.

* On the economic front, a report on consumer sentiment in early January will be released at 9:55 am ET (1455 GMT).

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