US futures range-bound ahead of GDP data

on January 28 2011 8:15 AM

Futures on major U.S. stock indices remained range-bound on Friday ahead of economic data including key US GDP figures from the government.

Futures on the S&P 500 are down 0.04 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.03 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are down 0.05 percent.

Investors are eagerly waiting for the GDP numbers to understand the current situation in the world’s largest economy.

The Commerce Department is due to report advanced GDP estimate for the fourth quarter of 2010 before the market opens. Economists are forecasting that the report will show an improvement in economic activity during the October-December period on back overall improvement in economic conditions, and rising consumer spending due to the holiday season.

Economists have forecast GDP to grow by 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter compared to 2.6 percent growth reported in the third quarter.

Investors also eye Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index which is due to be released after market opens Friday. The index is expected to show that confidence levels improved in January.

On the earnings front, companies including Ford Motors, Honeywell, Dominion Resources, Chevron and Dover Corp will release their quarterly earnings during the day.

On Thursday, The S&P 500 index surpassed the 1300-point level twice, the first time the index reached that plateau since August, 2008, as U.S. stocks ended slightly up on mixed earnings reports.

The euro declined 0.02 percent to 1.3732 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.58 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures advanced 0.21 percent to $85.82/barrel and gold futures declined 0.36 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading mixed with FTSE 100 down by 41.98 points, DAX30 up by 12.39 points and CAC 40 up by 5.75 points.