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Stock futures down ahead of Fed statement, GDP data

Posted by: Admin | Posted on: April 29th, 2015 | 0 Comments

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were lower on Wednesday as investors await the outcome of the two-day Federal Reserve meeting and ahead of U.S. economic growth numbers for the first quarter.

The Fed is not expected to raise interest rates. But investors will closely examine the central bank’s statement for clues on when rates are likely to be increased, as a batch of soft data could push back the timing of a hike until the end of the year. The statement is expected at 1400 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).

U.S. gross domestic product likely braked sharply in the first quarter as harsh weather dampened consumer spending and energy companies struggling with low prices cut spending. GDP probably expanded at a 1.0 percent annual rate, down from the 2.2 percent growth rate in the fourth quarter.

GDP numbers are due at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT).

Twitter (TWTR.N) shares were up 0.5 percent at $42.48 in premarket trading. The stock slumped as much as 24 percent after market on Tuesday as the company cut its full-year forecast due to weak demand for its new direct response advertising.

Lumber Liquidators (LL.N) slumped 15.4 percent to $28.25 after reporting a 2 percent fall in net sales so far in April and did not provide a full-year forecast.

Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) shares rose 1.2 percent to $69.00 after the company’s revenue rose 5 percent.

Companies expected to report results on Wednesday include MasterCard (MA.N), Marriott International (MAR.O) and Yelp (YELP.N).

Futures snapshot at 7:10 a.m. EDT (1110 GMT)

SP 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 2.5 points, or 0.12 percent, with 76,198 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 9 points, or 0.2 percent, on volume of 11,579 contracts.

Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 20 points, or 0.11 percent, with 13,320 contracts changing hands.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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