August 29, 2013 / 1:26 PM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Futures dip ahead of market open

NEW YORK, Aug 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pared gains heading into the open on Thursday, with traders focusing on developments in Syria and strong U.S. economic data that could help the Federal Reserve decide whether to wind down its stimulus program.

S&P 500 futures fell 1.7 points and were 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 were up 7 points and Nasdaq 100 futures up 7 points.

Futures initially held gains after data showed the U.S. economy grew more quickly than expected in the second quarter thanks to a surge in exports. The strong numbers, alongside data suggesting a strengthening in job gains in August, could bolster the case for the Fed to wind down a major economic stimulus program that has been a pillar of the recent rally in equities.

On Syria, there were growing signs a timeline for launching a Western military strike on the country could be delayed, though caution lingered across markets.

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