Stock futures dip after rally as investors book profit


Stock futures edged lower on Thursday, as investors locked in gains following a rally on Wednesday, which was spurred by a deal by U.S. lawmakers to avert a "fiscal cliff" of austerity measures that had been due to kick in this year.

* U.S. retailer Costco Wholesale Corp reported a better-than-expected 9 percent rise in December sales at stores open at least a year, mainly helped by an additional sales day in the reporting period.

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* Gap Inc will buy women's fashion boutique Intermix Inc for $130 million to enter the luxury clothes market, the Wall Street Journal reported.

* Family Dollar Stores is scheduled to post fiscal first-quarter results. The discount chain has more than 7,500 stores in 45 states.

* European shares <.FTEU3> rose 0.2 percent on Thursday, with Next among the top risers after the British retailer nudged up its full-year profit forecast.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Bernadette Baum)