US STOCKS-Futures dip; Nasdaq set for worst weekly loss in four

Reuters - UK Focus

(Corrects to show earnings data through Thursday morning, notWednesday)

* Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) reportedly close to deal for Beats Electronics

* Omnicom Group (Frankfurt: 871706 - news) , Publicis (Paris: FR0000130577 - news) call off merger

* Rocket Fuel (NasdaqGS: FUEL - news) plunges after outlook

* Futures off: Dow 27 pts, S&P 3.75 pts, Nasdaq 12.25 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Frankfurt: HX6.F - news) , May 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edgedlower on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track to closing a weekof choppy trading with a slight decline, while the Nasdaq is onpace for its worst weekly decline in four.

* The S&P 500 has alternated between gains and losseseach day this week, and the Nasdaq has dropped for threestraight sessions - its longest losing streak since early April- amid a rout in Internet-related stocks.

* Apple Inc is close to paying a record $3.2billion for Beats Electronics, two people with knowledge of thematter said, an expensive foray into music streaming andheadphone gear. Apple shares were little changed in lightpremarket trading.

* A proposed $35 billion merger of U.S.-based Omnicom GroupInc and rival France's Publicis Groupe SA (Other OTC: PGPEF - news) hasbeen called off due to complex obstacles to molding thecompanies into the world's largest advertising agency.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures fell 3.75 points and wereslightly below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing bytaking into account interest rates, dividends and time toexpiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average e-minifutures lost 27 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures declined 12.25 points.

* Gap Inc reported a 9 percent increase incomparable sales for April and the apparel company gave a profitforecast that surpassed Wall Street expectations. Shares were up8.5 percent in premarket trading.

* Rocket Fuel Inc, tumbled 29 percent to $19.75 inpremarket trading after the technology provider for Web-basedvideo advertising forecast current-quarter revenue far belowexpectations, prompting downgrades from Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB - news) and BMOCapital (Other OTC: CGHC - news) .

* Of 445 companies in the S&P 500 that have reportedearnings through Thursday morning, 68.2 percent beatexpectations, above the 63 percent average since 1994 and the 66percent beat rate for the past four quarters, according toThomson Reuters (Frankfurt: TOC.F - news) data.

* Profits are expected to rise 5.3 percent this quarter,down from 6.5 percent estimated at the start of the year, butabove the low of 0.6 percent in mid-April.

* European shares retreated as a disappointing businessupdate from leading telecoms group Telefonica (Madrid: TEF.MC - news) soberedthe mood after a rally on the previous day.

* Asian shares were mostly down as a tense situation inUkraine made investors cautious. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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