US STOCKS-Futures flat as investors await earnings reports
* Futures: Dow up 13 pts, S&P up 3.5 pts, Nasdaq down 1.75 pts
By Abhiram Nandakumar
April 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday ahead of a slew of earnings reports by industry bellwethers such as Caterpillar and McDonald's.
* Global stocks fell following disappointing U.S. quarterly results on Thursday and data that showed an unexpected slowdown in Euro zone business growth.
* With recent economic data indicating a sluggish pace of economic growth and crude prices hovering near five-month highs, earnings have become a swing factor for stocks.
* The S&P 500 has staged a sharp recovery from a steep selloff earlier this year and is inching towards its all-time high, helped by a recent rebound in oil, a cautious Federal Reserve and companies beating tempered expectations.
* S&P 500 companies are expected to post a 7.2 percent fall in first-quarter profit, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, and shares of companies failing to beat the already lowered expectations are getting hammered.
* Heavyweights Alphabet and Microsoft were down 4.4-5.4 percent premarket after both missed profit and revenue estimates.
* Starbucks slipped 3.8 percent after missing quarterly sales expectations, while Visa was down 4.4 percent after the world's largest payments network operator cut its full-year revenue forecast. Continuación...