* New home sales data due
* Germany confirms Q2 GDP growth
* Futures down: Dow 13 pts, S&P 1 pt, Nasdaq 0.5 pt
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Aug 23 U.S. stock index futures were
little changed on Friday, a day after the Nasdaq stock exchange
suffered a historic trading halt of roughly three hours as a
result of technical problems.
* Trading in thousands of U.S. stocks ground to a halt for
much of Thursday after an unexplained technological problem shut
down trading in Nasdaq securities, the latest prominent
disruption to the operations of U.S. markets.
* Even with the Nasdaq outage on Thursday, the S&P 500
managed to register its biggest percentage gain since August 1,
but was unable to close above its 50-day moving average for a
fifth straight session. The mark, now at 1,658.87, has become a
* The benchmark S&P index is on pace for a slight advance
for the week after two straight weekly losses, as investors
exercise caution amid uncertainty over how soon the Fed will
begin to wind down its $85 billion a month stimulus program.
* In Europe, Germany confirmed a 0.7 percent climb in its
second quarter gross domestic product as broad-based domestic
demand drove the strongest quarterly expansion the euro zone's
largest economy in more than a year.
* U.S. economic data expected on Friday includes new home
sales for July at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT). Economists in a Reuters
survey forecast a total of 490,000 annualized units, compared
with 497,000 in June.
* S&P 500 futures shed 1 point and were slightly
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
13 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.5 point.
* Pandora Media Inc dropped 6.8 percent to $20.24 in
premarket trade after the Internet radio service said late
Thursday that rising expenditures to acquire music and expand
its sales force would push fiscal 2014 earnings below analyst
* Exxon Mobil is selling over half of its 60 percent
holding in Iraq's West Qurna-1 oilfield project to China's
biggest energy firm PetroChina and Indonesia's
Pertamina, Iraq's oil minister confirmed on Friday.
* European stocks were little changed, pausing after solid
gains the previous day but were set for their first weekly loss
in around two months on undimmed expectations of less U.S.
* Asian shares marked an upbeat end to a mostly grim week as
economic data suggesting the global economy is improving took
the edge off persistent fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve will
start withdrawing stimulus next month.