US STOCKS-Futures point to flat open after GDP data, Citi falls

jueves 27 de marzo de 2014 09:03 GYT

* Citigroup falls in premarket, Fed rejects capital plan

* GDP grew 2.6 pct in Q4; jobless claims unexpectedly drop

* BofA to pay $9.3 bln to settle mortgage bond claims

* Futures up: Dow 18 pts, S&P 0.8 pt, Nasdaq 0.5 pt (Updates with GDP and jobless claims data)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, March 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures indicated a flat opening on Wall Street Thursday as the latest economic data pointed to improving conditions, though investors were reluctant to make big bets amid tensions in Ukraine and a drop in Citigroup shares.

* Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said, up from the 2.4 percent pace it estimated last month but slightly under the 2.7 percent expectation of analysts. In a positive sign for the labor market, jobless claims unexpectedly fell in the latest week, dropping a near four-month low.

* The data provided encouraging signs on the economy, supporting a theory that weakness seen earlier this year was related to bad weather rather than worsening fundamentals.

* Equities have been volatile this week, driven by fluctuating tensions in the biggest conflict between Russia and the United States since the Cold War. While data has supported the market, investors used the uncertainty over Ukraine as an opportunity to take profits in some of the market's biggest outperformers, especially in the technology and biotech sectors.   Continuación...