* Morgan Stanley up more than 6 pct after results
* Weak outlook weighs on Intel
* Futures: S&P up 0.2 pt, Dow down 3 pts, Nasdaq down 8 pts
By Leah Schnurr
NEW YORK, Jan 18 U.S. stock index futures were
little changed on Friday, a day after the S&P 500 rose to its
highest level in five years, as a weak outlook from Intel was
weighed against encouraging data out of China and a
fourth-quarter profit at Morgan Stanley.
Shares of Intel Corp slumped 5.4 percent to $21.44
in premarket trading after the tech company forecast quarterly
revenue that was below analysts' estimates and hiked capital
spending plans for the year.
Futures got a lift after Morgan Stanley reported a
fourth-quarter profit after a year-earlier loss, helped by
higher revenue at the bank's institutional securities business.
Its stock was up 7.2 percent at $22.25 in premarket
Economic data out of China provided some support to the
market. The country's economy grew at a modestly
faster-than-expected 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter, the
latest sign the world's second-biggest economy was pulling out
of a post-global financial crisis slowdown which saw it grow in
2012 at its weakest pace since 1999.
S&P 500 futures rose 0.2 points and were above 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 slipped 3
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 8 points.
Stronger-than-expected economic data boosted the S&P 500 on
Thursday to its highest level in five years. The index is now
just 5.6 percent from a record closing peak of 1,565.15.
It would be a normal reaction for investors to take a pause
at this point, but any weakness in the market could be a buying
opportunity, said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at
Lek Securities in New York.
"It's the type of market where it's starting to gain
momentum and if investors miss the run, they're going to be
behind the eight ball early in the year," said Bakhos.
General Electric reported a rise in earnings on
Friday, pushing its shares up 3.5 percent in premarket trading
Johnson Controls dropped 2.6 percent to $31.12 after
its profit fell and the company forecast further declines.
Overall, 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.
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 1.4 percent to $32.74 in premarket
On the economic front, a report on consumer sentiment in
early January will be released at 9:55 am ET (1455 GMT).