US futures flat


New York - US stock index futures were little changed on Friday, though recent weakness was enough to put the Dow and S&P 500 on track for their first weekly decline after three consecutive weeks of gains.

* While both the Dow and S&P hit a series of record highs this week, Wall Street has lately been pressured by concerns of slowing global growth and ongoing violence in Iraq, which has taken oil prices to their highest since September.

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The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet.

* The S&P has fallen for three straight days, its longest streak of declines since early April.

However, it has dropped just 1.1 percent over that period, and many view the market's recent trend upward as intact.

* Technology shares will be in focus a day after Intel raised its full-year revenue outlook, citing stronger-than-expected demand for personal computers used by businesses. Shares of the Dow component rose 4.7 percent to $29.27 in premarket trading.

* Another positive catalyst may come at 9:55 a.m. EDT (15:55 SA time), with the preliminary read on June consumer sentiment from the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.

The index is seen rising to 83 from 81.9 in the previous report.

* S&P 500 futures fell 2.9 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 fell 29 points and Nasdaq 100 futures slid 3.25 points.

* For the week, the Dow is down 1.1 percent, the S&P is down 1 percent, and the Nasdaq is down 0.6 percent.

The Dow and S&P have risen for three straight weeks; Nasdaq has risen for four.

* The CBOE Volatility index is up 10.2 percent on the week, its first weekly rise following eight weeks of declines.

Despite the spike, the so-called 'fear index' remains well below its historical average.

* Crude prices will continue to be in focus, rising 0.6 percent to $107.12 per barrel on Friday.

While the price of oil has spiked 2.6 percent over the past three days, most analysts said it would need to be sharply above $115 per barrel for a protracted period before it becomes a major headwind to economic growth.

Still, energy companies may attract more action as prices fluctuate.

* In Iraq, Islamist rebel fighters captured two more Iraqi towns overnight as they moved towards Baghdad.

US President Barack Obama responded by threatening military strikes, adding to the market's geopolitical concern; selling accelerated on Thursday after his comments.

* In company news, Tesla Motors Inc late Thursday said it would allow others to use its intellectual property in the hopes of speeding up development of electric cars by all manufacturers.

Shares rose 0.7 percent to $205 before the bell.

* Finisar Corp plunged 22 percent to $19.75 in premarket trading a day after forecasting weaker-than-expected earnings, citing higher capital expenditure in China. - Reuters

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