NEW YORK Jan 18 U.S. stock index futures were
slightly lower on Friday after a disappointing earnings outlook
from Intel offset news of better-than-expected economic growth
* Shares of Intel Corp slumped 4.9 percent at
$21.57 in premarket trading after the tech company forecast
quarterly revenue that missed expectations. A sharp increase in
capital spending plans for the year also concerned analysts.
* China's economy grew at a modestly faster-than-expected
7.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, the latest sign
the world's second-biggest economy was pulling out of a
post-global financial crisis slowdown which saw it grow last
year at its weakest pace since 1999.
* Investors have focused on earnings this week and S&P 500
company earnings are expected to have risen 2.3 percent in the
fourth quarter, Thomson Reuters data showed. Expectations for
the quarter have dropped considerably since October, when a 9.9
percent gain was estimated.
* S&P 500 futures fell 0.5 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 were down
3 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 11 points.
* General Electric reported a rise in earnings for
the fourth-quarter, pushing its shares up 2.5 percent at $21.83.
* Stronger-than-expected economic data helped send the S&P
500 to its highest level in five years on Thursday. The index is
now just 5.6 percent from a record closing peak of 1,565.15.
* AT&T warned after Thursday's closing bell that it
will take a fourth-quarter charge of about $10 billion due to
bigger-than-expected pension obligations. Shares of the
telephone company fell 1.2 percent to $32.80 in premarket
* On the economic front, a report on consumer sentiment in
early January will be released at 9:55 am ET (1455 GMT).