July 25, 2019 / 11:14 AM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Futures muted after mixed bag of earnings

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* Futures: Dow up 0.21%, S&P flat, Nasdaq down 0.33%

By Amy Caren Daniel

July 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures struggled for direction on Thursday as a clutch of earnings reports again pointed to a slowing global economy, while holding up in the face of already reduced expectations.

Tesla Inc tumbled 12.3% and pressured Nasdaq futures, after the electric carmaker pushed back its profit timeline once again after missing its quarterly financial targets.

On the other hand, 3M Co rose 4.5% after the manufacturing conglomerate reiterated its full-year earnings forecast despite slowing growth in high-profile markets such as China.

Facebook gained 1% after the social media giant reported quarterly revenue that beat estimates, but said new rules and product changes aimed at protecting user privacy would slow its revenue growth into next year.

Two weeks into the second-quarter earnings season, about 77% of the 138 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have topped earnings estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

Overall earnings, however, are now expected to fall 0.1%, compared with a prior estimate of a rise of about 1%.

Hopes that major central banks would take monetary measures to impede the impact of a protracted U.S.-China trade war has helped Wall Street's main indexes hit record highs this month.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit an all-time high once again on Wednesday after Texas Instruments hinted that a global slowdown in microchip demand would not be as long as feared, which countered bleak earnings from bellwether companies Boeing and Caterpillar.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is all but certain to ease policy further on Thursday and set the path for the Federal Reserve when it meets next week, but the biggest question is whether the ECB staggers its moves over several months or opts for a big bang.

At 6:59 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 57 points, or 0.21%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 1.25 points, or 0.04% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 26.75 points, or 0.33%.

Ford Motor Co dropped 4.6% after the automaker reported a lower-than-expected profit, weighed down by charges to restructure its units in Europe and South America, and gave a disappointing full-year earnings forecast. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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