October 18, 2011 / 12:30 PM / in 6 years

US STOCKS-Futures off after Goldman loss, overseas risk

* China growth slows more than expected

* IBM falls after earnings fail to impress

* Futures off: Dow 81 pts, S&P 3.7 pts, Nasdaq 5.5 pts

By Edward Krudy

NEW YORK, Oct 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Tuesday after a rare quarterly loss at Goldman Sachs, while doubt was cast on France’s triple-A credit rating and growth in China slowed.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc , the largest U.S. investment bank, lost $428 million in the quarter, only its second quarterly loss as a public company. hurt by sharp declines in the value of investment securities and customer trading assets. The shares fell 1 percent to $95.99 in premarket trading.

Moody’s cautioned it may slap a negative outlook on France’s Aaa credit rating in the next three months if costs from helping to bail out banks and other euro zone members stretch its budget too thin.

China’s economic growth slowed in the third quarter to its weakest pace since early 2009. Gross domestic product rose 9.1 percent in the quarter from a year earlier, but was down from 9.5 percent in the previous period.

“Growth concerns in China along with renewed euro debt concerns are bringing some hesitation into the futures market,” said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York.

S&P 500 futures fell 3.7 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 dropped 81 points, but Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 5.5 points.

Bank of America Corp , the largest U.S. bank by assets, reported a $5.9 billion third-quarter profit after selling shares of China Construction Bank and recording two accounting gains. The shares fell 0.8 percent to $5.98 premarket.

“The headline numbers are dramatically different than reality. I think it would have been flat at best without the adjustments. Revenue was particularly weak,” said Matt McCormick, portfolio manager with Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel in Cincinnati.

International Business Machines Corp’s quarterly results failed to impress investors used to a robust showing from the technology bellwether. That added to worries over lackluster corporate information technology spending. IBM shares fell 4.1 percent to $178.90.

U.S. stocks suffered their worst loss in two weeks on Monday after comments from Germany’s finance minister renewed investor fears over Europe.

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