US STOCKS-Futures lower after China data; Fed minutes due

Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:00am EDT

* China exports miss expectations

* Minutes from Fed's June meeting due

* Futures off: Dow 8 pts, S&P 2.4 pts, Nasdaq 2.5 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, July 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures dipped on Wednesday, indicating the S&P 500 may halt a four-day winning streak, in the wake of weaker-than-expected data from China and as investors looked to the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's June meeting.

China warned on Wednesday of a "grim" outlook for trade after data showed exports fell 3.1 percent in June against forecasts for a rise of 4 percent.

"Anything that China does in the short run is likely to have a very limited effect on the U.S. market, they have clearly slowed from the growth they had but they still have growth ahead of most other countries," said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

"For the U.S. stock market to really begin to make new highs and push forward you are going to have to see some growth in the U.S. economy more than a fixation than on what is happening in China."

Later in the session at 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), the minutes from the June 18-19 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee will be released and perused by investors for any signs of the central bank's plan to trim its bond buying program.

The S&P 500 has risen 2.4 percent over the past four sessions, pushing the benchmark S&P index to within 1 percent of its all-time closing high May 21 of 1,669.16.

S&P 500 futures fell 2.4 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 lost 8 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 2.5 points.

Family Dollar Stores Inc rose 2 percent to $65.20 in premarket trade after the discount chain posted quarterly earnings.

S&P 500 companies scheduled to report earnings on Wednesday include Fastenal Co and Yum Brands Inc.

According to Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning, analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to grow 2.9 percent in the quarter from a year ago, while revenue is forecast to increase 1.5 percent from a year ago.

At 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT), the Commerce Department releases wholesale inventories for May. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast inventories to rise 0.3 percent versus an increase of 0.2 percent in April.

European shares fell as miners and autos succumbed to selling pressure after weak trade data from China.

Chinese shares rose sharply, amid speculation China's central bank may ease policy to boost growth after the country's exports fell for the first time in 17 months.