US STOCKS-Futures little changed as investors await GDP data

jueves 30 de julio de 2015 07:28 GYT

* Futures: Dow down 11 pts, S&P down 1.5 pts, Nasdaq up 3.25 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

July 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday ahead of second-quarter gross domestic product numbers that will give clues regarding the health of the economy even as the Fed left the door open for a possible interest rate hike in September.

* The U.S. economy and job market continue to strengthen, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, but left rates unchanged.

* The Fed has maintained near-zero interest rates for nearly a decade and has said it will raise rates only when it sees a sustained recovery in the economy.

* The U.S. economy is expected to have expanded during the second quarter. The gross domestic product data, expected at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), is projected to have risen at a 2.6 percent annual rate in April-June, compared with a contraction of 0.2 percent annual rate in January-March.

* U.S. stocks closed stronger on Wednesday after the Fed statement. The S&P 500 has bounced about 2 percent higher in the past two days following a near-3 percent drop over the preceding week that had been caused in part by a rout in China's stock markets.

* More than halfway through the second-quarter earnings season, analysts expect overall earnings of S&P 500 companies to edge up 0.8 percent and revenue to decline 3.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

* While earnings are expected to increase this quarter, valuations remain a concern. The S&P 500 is trading near 16.9 times forward 12-month earnings, above the 10-year median of 14.7 times, according to StarMine data.   Continuación...