Nasdaq set for worst weekly loss in four

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WallStreet1234 Reuters. A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York.

New York - US stock index futures edged lower on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track to closing a week of choppy trading with a slight decline, while the Nasdaq is on pace for its worst weekly decline in four.

* The S&P 500 has alternated between gains and losses each day this week, and the Nasdaq has dropped for three straight sessions - its longest losing streak since early April - amid a rout in Internet-related stocks.

* Apple is close to paying a record $3.2 billion for Beats Electronics, two people with knowledge of the matter said, an expensive foray into music streaming and headphone gear.

Apple shares were little changed in light premarket trading.

* A proposed $35 billion merger of US-based Omnicom Group and rival France's Publicis Groupe has been called off due to complex obstacles to molding the companies into the world's largest advertising agency.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures fell 3.75 points and were slightly 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 e-mini futures lost 27 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures declined 12.25 points.

* Gap Inc reported a 9 percent increase in comparable sales for April and the apparel company gave a profit forecast that surpassed Wall Street expectations.

Shares were up 8.5 percent in premarket trading.

* Rocket Fuel, tumbled 29 percent to $19.75 in premarket trading after the technology provider for Web-based video advertising forecast current-quarter revenue far below expectations, prompting downgrades from Goldman Sachs and BMO Capital.

* Of 445 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings through Wednesday morning, 68.2 percent beat expectations, above the 63 percent average since 1994 and the 66 percent beat rate for the past four quarters, according to Thomson Reuters data.

* Profits are expected to rise 5.3 percent this quarter, down from 6.5 percent estimated at the start of the year, but above the low of 0.6 percent in mid-April.

* European shares retreated as a disappointing business update from leading telecoms group Telefonica sobered the mood after a rally on the previous day.

* Asian shares were mostly down as a tense situation in Ukraine made investors cautious. - Reuters



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