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Stock index futures signal slight gains

Published: August 24, 2012 | 10:07 am
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Stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wall Street on Friday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.03 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.09 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.04 percent at 0900 GMT.

Global stock, bond and commodity markets saw investors selling riskier assets on Friday, as they scaled back expectations of strong stimulus from the Federal Reserve and fretted about global economic weakness.

Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) share of China’s smartphone market almost halved to 10 percent in the second quarter as buyers waited for the next iPhone model – expected later this year – or switched brands, data from industry research firm IDC showed on Friday.

Autodesk Inc’s (ADSK.O) quarterly results fell short of expectations for the first time in nearly two years, and the design-software maker said it would cut jobs as an uncertain economy drags on its business.

Groupon Inc’s (GRPN.O) Lee Brown, who oversees the daily deal company’s national sales, has decided to leave, following other senior executives who left the company this year, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

Oil and natural gas exploration company QEP Resources Inc (QEP.N) said one of its units has agreed to buy crude oil properties in North Dakota from multiple sellers for about $1.38 billion in cash to grow its core acreage in the Williston Basin.

Salesforce.com Inc’s (CRM.N) third-quarter earnings outlook missed analysts’ estimates and its stock fell more than 5 percent in after-hours trading.

The blows keep coming for hedge fund manager John Paulson, with Citi Private Bank deciding it will withdraw $410 million from his Paulson & Co hedge fund, according to people familiar with the decision.

The U.S. Federal Reserve should take action to bring down unemployment, including by buying more bonds, a top Federal Reserve official known for his dovish policy views said on Thursday.

On the macro front, investors awaited data on durable goods for July, due at 1230 GMT.

Stocks fell on Thursday as expectations for quick stimulus action from the Federal Reserve faded and Chinese and euro zone data pointed to a stalling global economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI dropped 115.30 points, or 0.88 percent, to 13,057.46. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX lost 11.41 points, or 0.81 percent, to 1,402.08. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC fell 20.27 points, or 0.66 percent, to 3,053.40.


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