U.S. Stock Futures Drop After Weak Results

Markets Reuters

U.S. stock index futures retreated on Friday ahead of the release of inflation data following a string of weak corporate results and some disappointing U.S. economic reports.

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* The quarterly earnings season has been mixed so far with companies beating lowered expectations, but some disappointing results Thursday after the markets closed and early on Friday have raised concerns.

* At 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT), U.S. consumer inflation data for March will be released, followed by the University of Michigan survey on consumer confidence, at 10:00 a.m.

* Shares of General Electric were down 0.5 percent at $27.15 after the company posted a net loss of $13.6 billion. Results were weighed by $16 billion in charges tied to its divestment of GE Capital assets.

* Shares of Advanced Micro Devices were down 12 percent at $2.53 before the bell after the chipmaker posted a bigger loss and said it expected weak demand for personal computers to continue for some time.

* American Express, the world's largest credit card issuer, reported quarterly revenue that fell short of analysts' estimates, hurt by a stronger dollar and the loss of several co-branded tie-ups.

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* Weak data on Thursday suggested the economy could struggle to rebound from a soft patch in the first quarter. U.S. housing starts rose far less than expected in March and factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region grew modestly.

* Britain postponed a sale of Treasury bills and global bond trading was hit by a power outage Friday at business and market news provider Bloomberg, which competes with Thomson Reuters.

* A pullback in some corporate earnings weighed on European equities as worries over Greece re-emerged. Greece on Thursday sounded a mix of defiance and willingness to compromise with its international creditors on reforms required to unlock more loans, as it faces running out of money ahead of debt repayments next month.

Futures snapshot at 7:22 a.m. (1122 GMT):

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 13 points, or 0.62 percent, with 19,6352 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 37.75 points, or 0.85 percent, in volume of 32,608 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were down 125 points, or 0.69 percent, with 36,159 contracts changing hands.

 (By Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Bernadette Baum)