US STOCKS-Wall St to edge lower at open; UMich on tap

Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:02am EST

* Export prices rise for third straight month

* Euro zone growth edges higher on France, Germany

* Jos. A. Bank to buy Eddie Bauer

* Futures: Dow up 4 pts, S&P off 0.25 pt, Nasdaq up 2.5 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Feb 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set for a slightly lower open on Friday, with the S&P 500 on track for its first two-week winning streak of the year, ahead of data on consumer confidence.

* U.S. export prices rose 0.2 percent in January, the third straight monthly increase in a potentially positive sign for global economic demand and the outlook for American manufacturers.

* Industrial output data is due at 9:15 a.m. EST (1415 GMT). Expectations are for a rise of 0.3 percent.

* Investors will also eye the preliminary February Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers at 9:55 a.m. (1455 GMT). Expectations are for a reading of 80.6 against the 81.2 reading in the prior month.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures shed 0.25 point and were slightly 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 rose 4 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 2.5 points.

* Men's clothing retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc said it would buy outdoor wear specialist Eddie Bauer for $825 million from private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, spurning any merger considerations with rival Men's Wearhouse Inc. Jos. A. Bank shares lost 2.9 percent to $53.35 in premarket trading while Men's Wearhouse slumped 8.7 percent to $42.50.

* Insurer American International Group on Thursday raised its dividend and announced more share buybacks as its fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations. Its shares edged down 0.6 percent to $49.28 in premarket trade.

* Weight Watchers International Inc plunged 20.9 percent to $24.20 before the opening bell after it forecast a full-year adjusted profit far slimmer than estimates.

* Cliffs Natural Resources rose 6.9 percent to $23.40 in premarket after it reported a much better-than-expected earnings helped by a drop in costs and higher iron ore prices.

* GNC Holdings Inc tumbled 15.3 percent to $44.38 in premarket after the health supplements retailer weaker-than-expected quarterly results.

* VF Corp declined 6.9 percent to $55.75 after the apparel company reported fourth-quarter earnings and issued its 2014 outlook.

* Of 382 companies in the S&P 500 that reported earnings through Thursday morning, 67.5 percent beat profit expectations, above the 63 percent average since 1994 and slightly above the 67 percent rate for the past four quarters, according to Thomson Reuters data.

* LCA-Vision Inc jumped 25.0 percent before the opening bell after the laser vision correction services company agreed to be acquired by skin health company PhotoMedex Inc for about $106 million.

* U.S. stocks closed higher Thursday, with the Nasdaq notching its sixth straight advance, as investors overlooked disappointing retail sales data which was weighed by harsh winter weather.

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