US STOCKS-Futures flat ahead of Bernanke speech, data

* Eyes on Bernanke, data for QE2 clues

* GE revenues misses estimate

* Google jumps after results

* Futures: Dow off 19 pts, S&P off 0.9 pts, Nasdaq up 4.75

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Oct 15 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures were
little changed on Friday, as investors awaited a speech by U.S.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and a host of economic
data for insight into the next round of the Fed’s monetary
easing.

Bernanke is scheduled to speak at 8:15 a.m. EDT (1215 GMT)
at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s “Revisiting Monetary
Policy in a Low-Inflation Environment” conference.

“Everybody is going to watch closely because they are
looking for a hint on quantitative easing,” said Barry
Ritholtz, director of equity research at Fusion IQ in New
York.

“That is pretty much a bullish speech title. Whenever the
Fed is talking about a low inflation environment it means they
feel they have latitude to engage in broad-based monetary
policy. Right now they are extremely accommodative, and they
are implying they are going to become more accommodative.”

At 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) the U.S. Commerce Department
will release September retail sales numbers. Economists expect
a 0.4 percent month-over-month increase, a repeat of the August
rise. Excluding automobiles, sales were also forecast to rise
0.4 percent, compared with a 0.6 percent increase in August.

Also at 8:30 a.m., the Labor Department releases the
September consumer price index. Economists look for CPI to rise
0.2 percent versus a 0.3 percent increase in August.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of
Consumers preliminary October consumer sentiment index is set
for release at 9:55 a.m. EDT (1355 GMT) Economists expect a
reading of 69.0, compared with 68.2 in the final September
report.

Other macroeconomic data Friday will include U.S. business
inventories for August at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), expected to
rise 0.5 percent, and the Empire State Manufacturing survey at
8:30 a.m.

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) fell 0.9 point but were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: ) lost 19
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) added 4.75 point.

General Electric Co (GE.N: ) said profit from continuing
operations increased for the second straight quarter, but
revenue came in below estimates on slack demand for heavy
equipment. GE fell 2.7 percent to $16.69 in premarket trade.
[ID:nN15165353]

Nasdaq futures were boosted by Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) (GOOG.O: ), which
jumped 10 percent to $594.04 premarket a day after it reported
results that eased fears that big spending would erode margins.
Net revenue surged 25 percent in the third quarter, blowing
past Wall Street targets. [ID:nN14187391]

Mattel Inc (MAT.O: ) reported a slightly higher-than-expected
quarterly profit, helped by classic brands like Barbie and
newer lines like Disney Princess and Monster High dolls. It
also struck a positive note ahead of the busiest selling period
of the year. The stock dropped 7.2 percent to $22.26.
[ID:nN14136493]

European shares were little changed Friday morning, with
technology shares boosted by upbeat Google results, offsetting
declines in heavyweight miners as metals prices eased from
earlier highs.

Banks led U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) lower Thursday as investors fretted
that a widening foreclosure crisis could undermine the market’s
strength over the last five weeks.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy and Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Futures flat ahead of Bernanke speech, data