Stocks: Investors unimpressed by U.S. growth

@CNNMoneyInvest January 27, 2012: 8:56 AM ET
premarkets, CNNMoney

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stock futures lost momentum after a weaker-than-expected U.S. economic report, and while Europe's debt crisis still looms in the background.

S&P 500 (SPX), Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures turned lower ahead of the opening bell Friday. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

The United States economy picked up speed at the end of 2011, by an annual rate of 2.8% in the fourth quarter, as consumers increased their spending. But the data fell short of the 3.2% forecast, based on a consensus of analysts surveyed by Briefing.com.

Investors had been hoping for news that would back up growing optimism about the nation's economic recovery. Instead, the news seems to jive with the Federal Reserve's lower outlook for the economy.

The Fed announced Wednesday that it plans to keep the federal funds rate near zero until late 2014, because the recovery remains too slow to warrant higher interest rates any time soon.

The University of Michigan will release the final January installment of its Consumer Sentiment Index. Meanwhile, results are in from companies including Chevron (CVX, Fortune 500), Ford (F, Fortune 500) and Procter & Gamble (PG, Fortune 500).

Anxiety continues to loom over Greece's ongoing negotiations with private-sector creditors in an attempt to reduce its debt burden. Without an agreement, the country jeopardizes its access to bailout funds and might not be able to make a €14 billion debt payment that's due March 20.

Europe's Debt Crisis

U.S. stocks ended in the red Thursday, as investors digested a mixed batch of corporate earnings results, and remained cautious amid lackluster economic data and the continuing debt talks in Greece.

World markets: European stocks were mixed in midday trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) dropped 0.5%, while the DAX (DAX) in Germany ticked up 0.2%.

Asian markets ended mixed. The Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong added 0.3% and Japan's Nikkei (N225) was flat. Shanghai wrapped up a week-long celebration for Chinese New Year.

Companies: Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500) beat Wall Street estimates with strong earnings and revenue in its fourth quarter. The coffee chain saw its strongest holiday season in history of the company, Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead said in a conference call with investors.

But investors were underwhelmed by the company's profit outlook for the future. Starbucks shares fell 1.7% in premarket trading.

Ford (F, Fortune 500), aided by a one-time gain, posted 2011 profit of $20.2 billion -- its biggest since 1998. But for the quarter alone, its earnings missed forecasts. Ford shares fell 5% in premarket trading.

Transocean (RIG) shares rose 6.5% in premarket trading, after a federal judge cleared the company of some damages related to the Deepwater Horizon spill, because it was shielded by a contract with well-owner BP. BP (BP) shares slumped 1.5% in premarket trading.

Chevron (CVX, Fortune 500) is expected to post earnings of $2.84 a share, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters, up from $2.44 a year ago. The stock edged up 0.4% in premarket trading.

Procter & Gamble (PG, Fortune 500) said it earned $1.10 per share in its fiscal second quarter, beating forecasts for $1.08 per share. The maker of Tide detergent, Crest toothpaste and Pringles snacks lowered its outlook for the year. Shares fell 0.6% in premarket trading

Why Soros thinks the euro will survive

Currencies and commodities: The dollar fell against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.

Oil for March delivery edged up 2 cents to $99.72 a barrel.

Gold futures for February delivery fell $4.10 to $1,722.60 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 1.97% from 1.93% late Thursday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,967.22 6.65 0.04%
Nasdaq 4,443.54 -6.02 -0.14%
S&P 500 1,977.44 -0.90 -0.05%
Treasuries 2.49 0.02 0.65%
Data as of 1:25pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Facebook Inc 75.10 -0.09 -0.12%
Apple Inc 98.45 0.78 0.80%
Dollar Tree Inc 55.88 1.66 3.06%
Family Dollar Stores... 75.75 15.09 24.88%
General Electric Co 25.54 -0.25 -0.99%
Data as of 1:10pm ET
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15 yr fixed3.29%3.27%
5/1 ARM3.34%3.47%
30 yr refi4.29%4.24%
15 yr refi3.26%3.25%
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