February 7, 2013 / 9:55 AM / 5 years ago

U.S. stock index futures signal mixed open

PARIS, Feb 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mixed open on Wall Street on Thursday. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 0.05 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.07 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.05 percent at 0933 GMT.

* European shares steadied on Thursday as investors awaited the European Central Bank’s policy meeting later in the day and President Mario Draghi’s views on the region’s growth prospects.

* Draghi faces a grilling over the euro’s sharp rise and his connection to an Italian banking scandal at the ECB meeting where interest rates are almost certain to be unchanged.

* Visa Inc’s quarterly profit beat analysts’ estimates for the ninth consecutive quarter.

* Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp on Wednesday reported higher quarterly revenue and profit on strong growth at its cable assets including its Regional Sports and FX networks.

* Boeing Co is working on battery design changes that would minimize fire risks on its grounded 787 Dreamliner and could have the passenger jet flying again as soon as March, the Wall Street Journal reported.

* Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc forecast sales growth for the current quarter that is slightly lower than analysts expected as retailers work through unsold inventory of its products after a slower-than-expected holiday season.

* Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, the main manufacturer of Apple Inc products, said on Thursday consolidated January sales dropped 8.19 percent from a year earlier.

* A U.S. judge threw out a lawsuit from South Korea’s Woori Bank accusing Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch unit of misleading investors about the riskiness of collateralized debt obligations, saying the suit had missed a deadline under South Korean law.

* CVS Caremark Corp said on Wednesday it bought Drogaria Onofre, Brazil’s eighth-largest drugstore chain last week, marking the first time the drugstore and pharmacy services company has ventured outside the United States.

* Michael Dell and his investment firm are putting up $750 million in cash toward the $24.4 billion purchase of Dell Inc to help bankroll the largest private equity-backed buyout since the financial crisis.

* Yelp Inc posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss and its shares fell 6 percent in after-market trading as the consumer review website faces competition from Facebook Inc .

* Chipmaker TriQuint Semiconductor Inc forecast current-quarter results below analysts’ estimates after some orders were pulled into the fourth quarter, sending its shares down 8 percent.

* Allstate Corp’s quarterly profit fell 45 percent on losses from superstorm Sandy, but the home and auto insurer said it has paid out about 95 percent of Sandy claims and is seeing rate increases across businesses.

* Herbalife Inc disclosed more information on Wednesday about how much its U.S. distributors earn, looking to provide more clarity as it defends its business model from critics like billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman.

* On the macro front, investors awaited weekly jobless claims, due at 1330 GMT, as well as quarterly data on productivity and unit labor costs, also due at 1330 GMT.

* Among the companies set to report results on Thursday feature Coca-Cola Enterprises, Hasbro, Inc.

, Philip Morris International and Sprint Nextel Corp..

* U.S. stocks ended mostly flat on Wednesday, taking another pause in the recent rally that has driven the S&P 500 to five-year highs, as transportation and technology shares lost ground.

* The Dow Jones industrial average was up 7.22 points, or 0.05 percent, at 13,986.52. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 0.83 points, or 0.05 percent, at 1,512.12. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 3.10 points, or 0.10 percent, at 3,168.48.

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