February 28, 2019 / 2:15 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-Futures cut losses after GDP data

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* U.S. fourth-quarter GDP increases at 2.6 pct rate

* Trump walks away from deal in U.S.-North Korea summit

* HP Inc plummets on revenue miss

* Celgene falls as top BMY shareholder against deal

* Futures off: Dow 0.10 pct, S&P 0.20 pct, Nasdaq 0.33 pct (Adds comments, details, updates prices)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Feb 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks index futures pared some losses on Thursday after data showed U.S. economic growth slowed less than expected in the fourth quarter amid solid consumer and business spending.

The Commerce Department’s report showed gross domestic product (GDP) rose at a 2.6 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter, while economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 2.3 percent growth rate.

“GDP number was solid as a rock, there are no signs of slowing down,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets UK Ltd in London. “Most of the market participants were expecting a weak number and this is a surprise, a good surprise.”

The sentiment was weaker earlier in the day after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had walked away from a nuclear deal at his summit with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam because of unacceptable demands from the North Korean leader to lift U.S.-led sanctions.

“Collapse in negotiations with North Korea seems to be weighing on sentiment to some extent,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“There is very little substance that comes out of these things (the summit) but the market perceives that peace on the peninsula would be a good thing.”

At 8:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 25 points, or 0.1 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 5.5 points, or 0.2 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 23.5 points, or 0.33 percent.

The benchmark S&P 500 index closed slightly lower on Wednesday after testimonies to U.S. Congress from trade and central bank officials as well as President Donald Trump’s former lawyer brought few major surprises.

Still, optimism on trade and Fed policy had boosted equities from December lows in recent weeks, with the S&P 500 index roughly 5 percent below its record closing high hit in late September.

Among stocks, HP Inc tumbled 14.5 percent in premarket trading after its quarterly revenue fell short of analysts’ estimates on weaker-than-expected sales in both its personal computer and printing businesses.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co rose 2.6 percent after top shareholder Wellington Management came out against the drugmaker’s $74 billion deal to buy biotech Celgene Corp . Celgene shares fell 8 percent.

Monster Beverage Corp jumped 9.1 percent after the beverage maker beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue and profit. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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