* China growth slows more than expected
* IBM falls after earnings fail to impress
* Futures off: Dow 81 pts, S&P 3.7 pts, Nasdaq 5.5 pts
By Edward Krudy
NEW YORK, Oct 18 U.S. stock index futures fell
on Tuesday after a rare quarterly loss at Goldman Sachs, while
doubt was cast on France's triple-A credit rating and growth in
Goldman Sachs Group Inc , the largest U.S. investment
bank, lost $428 million in the quarter, only its second
quarterly loss as a public company. hurt by sharp declines in
the value of investment securities and customer trading assets.
The shares fell 1 percent to $95.99 in premarket trading.
Moody's cautioned it may slap a negative outlook on
France's Aaa credit rating in the next three months if costs
from helping to bail out banks and other euro zone members
stretch its budget too thin.
China's economic growth slowed in the third quarter to its
weakest pace since early 2009. Gross domestic product rose 9.1
percent in the quarter from a year earlier, but was down from
9.5 percent in the previous period.
"Growth concerns in China along with renewed euro debt
concerns are bringing some hesitation into the futures market,"
said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek
Securities in New York.
S&P 500 futures fell 3.7 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 dropped
81 points, but Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 5.5 points.
Bank of America Corp , the largest U.S. bank by
assets, reported a $5.9 billion third-quarter profit after
selling shares of China Construction Bank and recording two
accounting gains. The shares fell 0.8 percent to $5.98
"The headline numbers are dramatically different than
reality. I think it would have been flat at best without the
adjustments. Revenue was particularly weak," said Matt
McCormick, portfolio manager with Bahl & Gaynor Investment
Counsel in Cincinnati.
International Business Machines Corp's quarterly results
failed to impress investors used to a robust showing from the
technology bellwether. That added to worries over lackluster
corporate information technology spending. IBM shares
fell 4.1 percent to $178.90.
U.S. stocks suffered their worst loss in two weeks on
Monday after comments from Germany's finance minister renewed
investor fears over Europe.