US STOCKS-Futures suggest flat open as CPI offsets earnings

Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:09am EDT

* BofA, Google latest to disappoint with results

* Core CPI in March stays below forecast

* NY Fed factory index for April at highest in year

* Futures down: Dow 7 pts, S&P 0.4 pt, Nasdaq 6.75 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

(Updates with regional manufacturing data)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, April 15 (Reuters) - Dow and S&P index futures pointed to a flat open on Friday as a gauge of inflation offset disappointing financial results from Bank of America Corp (BAC.N).

The Nasdaq index pointed to a lower start on weaker-than-forecast results from Google Inc (GOOG.O).

Dow and S&P futures pared earlier losses to trade little changed after a government report showed underlying inflation pressures remained contained in March, though rising food and gasoline prices lifted the overall Consumer Price Index. For details, see [ID:nOAT004787]

Bank of America reported a steeper-than-expected decline of 37.5 percent in profit and named a new chief financial officer. The stock, a Dow component, was volatile in premarket trading, falling as much 1.7 percent before rebounding to a 1 percent gain.

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For details on the results, see [ID:nN15187516]

To see a graphic: r.reuters.com/kap98r

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Google Inc (GOOG.O) late on Thursday unnerved investors with a large jump in first-quarter spending. The Internet company reported an adjusted profit slightly under expectations, and the stock fell 5.7 percent to $545.63 in premarket trading. [ID:nN14279563]

"Earnings season is starting out rather slow, though we're still optimistic on the season as a whole," said Oliver Pursche, president at Gary Goldberg Financial Services in Suffern, New York, who added that Bank of America's results reaffirmed his position that financials "will continue to be under some pressures."

Bank of America's results followed earnings from JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) on Wednesday, which reported fewer outstanding loans and which raised questions about banks' future profitability. [ID:nN13262333]

S&P 500 futures SPc1 fell 0.4 point and were even with 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 DJc1 fell 7 points and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc1 fell 6.75 points.

The first week of earnings has been mixed, with bellwether companies unable to excite the market despite some cases of stronger-than-expected profits. Investors have been disappointed with companies' revenues or outlooks.

Mattel Inc (MAT.O) reported on Friday first-quarter earnings that fell due to higher costs, though they met Wall Street's expectations. The stock rose 3 percent before the opening bell. [ID:nN1558119]

A gauge of New York State manufacturing rose in April to its highest level in a year, and the state employment index jumped to its highest since May 2004, the New York Federal Reserve said. [ID:nN15203946]

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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