* Morgan Stanley up more than 6 pct after results
* Weak outlook weighs on Intel, indicated down 6 pct
* China economic growth beat s expectations
* Futures: S&P up 0.8 pt, Dow up 7 pts, Nasdaq down 6.25 pts
By Leah Schnurr
NEW YORK, Jan 18 Wall Street was set to open
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 6.5 percent to $21.20
in premarket trading after the tech company forecast quarterly
revenue that was below analysts' estimates and hiked capital
spending plans for the year. Nasdaq futures indicated the index
would fare worse than the Dow and S&P.
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 jumped 6.6 percent to $22.10 in premarket
Economic data out of China provided some support to the
market, though the focus remained on U.S. corporate earnings.
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 0.8 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 added 7
points, while Nasdaq 100 futures lost 6.25 points.
Stronger-than-expected U.S. 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
to lock in recent gains, said Andre Bakhos, director of market
analytics at Lek Securities in New York, but any weakness in the
market could also be a buying opportunity.
"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 better-than-expected rise
in earnings on Friday, pushing its shares up 3.8 percent in
premarket trading to $22.10.
Johnson Controls dropped 2.8 percent to $31.07 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.
Shares of Research In Motion jumped 6.8
percent to $15.92 in premarket trading after Jefferies Group
boosted the BlackBerry maker's rating and price target.
On the economic front, a report on consumer sentiment in
early January will be released at 9:55 am ET (1455 GMT).