US STOCKS-Futures higher after Microsoft results, 4Q GDP due

* Fourth-quarter GDP report on tap, 4.6 pct growth seen

* Reuters/Univ. of Michigan consumer sentiment data due

* Chevron to report results

* Futures up: Dow 18 pts, S&P 3.2 pts, Nasdaq 4.75 pts

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

(Updates prices, adds quote and Honeywell)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Jan 29 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures rose
on Friday after forecast-topping profit reports from Microsoft
Corp and Inc and ahead of a reading on the U.S.
fourth-quarter gross domestic product.

The government’s first estimate on fourth-quarter GDP is
expected to show the U.S. economy grew at a 4.6 percent rate,
the fastest pace in nearly four years as businesses cut back
less aggressively on inventories. The data is due at 8:30 a.m.
(1330 GMT).

“The best thing for the market would be for GDP to come in
in-line, since that would show that we’re in a steady
recovery,” said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital
Management in New York.

“If it comes in a lot higher, we could see an initial burst
in the futures but then lose that as it could bring back
concerns about interest rates and the government removing

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago PMI data and
the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers final
consumer sentiment reading, both for January, are also on tap
for later in the day. The Chicago PMI, while still showing an
expansionary reading above 50, is expected to dip to 57.4 from
58.7 in December. The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer
survey is expected to tick up slightly to 73.0 from a reading
of 72.5 in late December, according to a poll of economists by

Technology stocks will be in focus one day after Microsoft
(MSFT.O: ) and (AMZN.O: ) reported quarterly results
that beat expectations. Microsoft, a Dow component, expects
business technology spending to recover in 2010, while Amazon
forecast strong 2010 revenue.

Shares of Microsoft gained 1.7 percent to $29.66 in
premarket trading while Amazon climbed 2.9 percent to $129.69.
[ID:nN27150165] and [ID:nN19226206]

S&P 500 (SPc1: ) futures rose 3.2 points and were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average (DJc1: ) futures gained 18
points, and Nasdaq 100 (NDc1: ) futures added 4.75 points.

Honeywell International Inc (HON.N: ) reported a slight
decline in its fourth-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.), while Mattel Inc (MAT.O: )
reported better-than-expected profit in its holiday season.
[ID:nN29134579] [ID:nN29109663]

Dow component Chevron Corp (CVX.N: ) is also scheduled to
report results.

Fast food giant McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: ) expects to boost
capital investment in China by about one-quarter this year to
tap growth in the world’s third-largest economy, its China
chief executive said. [ID:nTOE60P05U]

The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to confirm Ben Bernanke
for another four-year term despite misgivings over what some
saw as policy missteps. While the confirmation was expected,
recent doubts about his support created an overhang for
equities. [ID:nN27143856]

In overseas trading, Japan’s Nikkei average (.N225: ) fell
2.1 percent to a six-week closing low on Friday, while European
stocks rose broadly in morning trade.

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) dropped on Thursday, as poor outlooks from
Motorola Inc (MOT.N: ) and Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O: ) dented optimism
in the technology sector

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US STOCKS-Futures higher after Microsoft results, 4Q GDP due