Stock futures off on Obama plan, Bernanke delay

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U.S. stock index futures fell on Friday as President Barack Obama's proposed sweeping restrictions on banks and the delayed confirmation of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke put investors on the defensive after a 10-month rally.

On Thursday, Obama threatened to rein in Wall Street banks with proposals to limit financial risk taking.

The U.S. Senate will not vote this week on whether to confirm the Federal Reserve chairman for a second four-year term, Democratic aides said, leaving little time before his current term expires.

These types of uncertainties really permeate the psyche of all the traders in the market, Jamie Cox of Harris Financial Group in Colonial Heights, Virginia.

When you have profits, you sell when there is this vacuum of uncertainty surrounding major things like the Federal Reserve chairman's confirmation and a president who seems to be on a tirade on making money.

General Electric Co shares rose 2 percent to $16.34 in premarket trade after reporting earnings that topped expectations.

McDonald's Corp shares were little changed at $63.22 after it posted higher quarterly profit and said global comparable sales increased 2.3 percent.

S&P 500 futures fell 3.2 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures dropped 30 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.5 points.

Recent declines have sent the Dow into negative territory for the new year, while the S&P 500 holds a slim 0.1 percent gain.

Schlumberger Ltd , shed nearly 1 percent to $67.73 in light trade after the world's largest oilfield services company reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings and said oil producers were likely to start boosting spending on new projects.

Google Inc was among the first technology companies to shake off the recession last year, but the Internet giant's fourth-quarter report after the close Thursday could not satisfy investor demand for stronger growth. Google shares fell 3.6 percent to $551.75 premarket.

American Express Co reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings late Thursday, but is concerned about the growth outlook for credit cards.

Asian stock markets skidded Friday and commodity prices fell across the board after Obama's proposals.

European shares edged lower in early trade, extending losses to a third straight session, with banks under pressure after the Obama plan.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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