* Weekly jobless claims data due
* GM profit beats on strong U.S. demand, smaller loss in
* Facebook shares surge in premarket following Wed's results
* Futures down: S&P 8.6 pts; Dow 91 pts; Nasdaq 18.75 pts
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, July 25 U.S. stock index futures fell
on Thursday as recent earnings from some bellwether shares
triggered concerns, while investors worried about the impact on
global demand of China's slowdown.
Investors booked profits from a recent rally that has taken
the S&P 500 up nearly 18.2 percent for the year. Despite a
back-to-back decline in the last two days, the index is still
near its all-time high.
In heavy week of earnings, General Motors Co on
Thursday posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on
demand in North America and cost-cutting in its struggling
European business. The stock rose 2.6 percent to $38.10 in
Dow Chemical Co's adjusted quarterly profit jumped
16 percent, topping analysts' estimates, driven by robust demand
for pesticides. The stock was up 0.7 percent at $34.60 in
Shares of Facebook jumped nearly 20 percent in
premarket trade to $31.70, a day after the company announced
But not-so-stellar results from bellwethers like
Caterpillar and AT&T on Wednesday triggered
concerns about the profit outlook. Caterpillar shares were down
nearly 1 percent at $82.68 and AT&T fell 0.1 percent at $35.56
in premarket trade.
"We have 50 or so S&P 500 companies reporting today. This is
a lot and the results will be mixed," said Sal Arnuk, co-founder
of Themis Trading, a brokerage firm that specializes in stocks.
S&P 500 futures fell 8.5 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 fell 67
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 10 points.
European shares extended losses around midday on Thursday,
as mixed earnings and lingering concerns about the pace of
growth in China triggered a bout of profit taking following
recent sharp gains.
Chinese stocks suffered their second straight loss on
Thursday despite measures from the government to spur the
economy, including help for exports and railway investment. Data
on Wednesday showed manufacturing in China running at an
11-month low in July.