* Tesla soars in premarket following strong outlook
* Facebook to buy WhatsApp for $19 bln, shares fall
* Data from China weak, Ukraine turmoil continues
* Futures down: Dow 11 pts, S&P 1.1 pt, Nasdaq 7.5 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Feb 20 U.S. stock index futures edged
lower on Thursday as global geopolitical and economic
uncertainty gave investors few reasons to buy despite a sharp
selloff in the previous session.
* Some of Wall Street's biggest trading favorites will be in
focus on Thursday, a day after Facebook Inc announced a
massive acquisition and Tesla Motors gave a strong
* Turmoil in emerging markets continued to be in focus, with
Ukraine experiencing some of its worst violence since the end of
the Cold War. The country's hryvnia currency dropped to
near five-year lows while the country's state debt insurance
costs rose to their highest since December 2009.
* Emerging market growth was also in view after China's
flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a
seven-month low in February, falling under the level that
* Social networking giant Facebook said late Wednesday it
would buy mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion in
cash and stock, plus an additional $3 billion worth of
restricted stock units to WhatsApp's founders. Shares fell 4.2
percent to $65.20 in heavy premarket trading.
* Tesla surged 10.2 percent to $213.35 a day after it
reported fourth-quarter results that topped expectations and
said deliveries of its luxury Model S electric sedan would surge
more than 55 percent this year. If the premarket move holds, it
would take the stock to an all-time high and build on its
year-to-date advance of almost 29 percent.
* Wal-Mart Stores Inc fell 1.5 percent to $73.73 in
premarket trading after the company reported its fourth-quarter
results and gave a full-year outlook.
* S&P 500 futures fell 1.1 point 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 slid 11
points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 7.5 points.
* Stocks fell Wednesday after minutes from the January
meeting of the Federal Reserve's policy-setting committee showed
several policymakers wanted to hone in on the idea that their
asset-purchase program would be trimmed in predictable,
$10-billion steps unless there is a big economic surprise this
* While the statement didn't deviate much from previous Fed
communications, market participants had expected the central
bank to point to recent weakness in economic data and to
reinforce its commitment to stimulating the economy.
* Recent data, including housing starts on Wednesday, have
come in below expectations, with many citing poor weather for
the weakness and some economists, including Goldman Sachs and
Barclays, cutting their estimates for first-quarter growth.
* Data on tap Thursday include weekly jobless claims and
January consumer prices, both due at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT)
Claims are seen falling by 4,000 in the latest week while prices
are seen rising 0.1 percent. In addition, the February
Philadelphia Fed business index is seen falling from the prior
* European shares fell 0.6 percent after France's
service sector shrank by its most in nine months in February.