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US stock-index futures retreat before GDP, jobs data

U.S. stock-index futures declined, predicting the Dow Jones Industrial Average will fall from a record level, as investors focused on GDP data for guidance on how long the Federal Reserve will maintain stimulus.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring next month retreated 0.2% to 1,762.9 at 11:57 a.m. in London. Dow Jones average rose to a record yesterday and the S&P 500 closed at a one-week high as Fed officials said economic weakness warrants continued stimulus from the central bank. Contracts on the Dow lost 7 points, less than 0.1% to 15,676 today. Nasdaq futures tumbled 0.1% to 3,372.50.

Investor attention today would be turned to much-awaited ECB meeting. The central bank’s rate decision is due at 1:45 p.m. Frankfurt time, or 7:45 a.m. EDT, with a news conference by ECB President Mario Draghi beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee also meets, with its own interest-rate decision due at noon local time, though no change is anticipated.

“Any euro-zone easing would give markets a boost, at least temporarily,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive at Sarhan Capital.

In corporate news, SolarCity Corp. sank 8% to $54.90 in pre-market New York trading. The second-largest U.S. solar company forecast a loss of as much as 65 cents a share for the final three months of 2013, compared with the average analyst estimate of 54 cents a share.

Qualcomm sank 4.2% to $66.82 in New York. Sales for the three months ending in December will be $6.3 billion to $6.9 billion, the company said yesterday in a statement. Analysts on average had predicted revenue of $7.01 billion for the period.

Whole Foods, the largest natural-foods grocer in the U.S., slumped 8.5% to $58.98 in early New York trading. Profit excluding certain items will be as much as $1.69 a share in the year ending in September 2014, compared with a previous projection of as much as $1.72 and the average analyst estimate of $1.73 a share.

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