Stock futures signal early losses
US-MARKETS-STOCKS:Stock futures signal early losses
PARIS (Reuters) - Stock futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.36 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.24 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.43 percent at 5:33 a.m. ET.
* European stocks were down around 0.4 percent in early trading on Thursday, hurt in part by data showing the French and German economies both shrank more than expected in the fourth quarter of 2012, signaling a deeper recession for the euro zone as a whole. <.EU>
* Cisco Systems Inc <CSCO.O> will be in focus after the firm posted quarterly results that topped Wall Street views on Wednesday amid early signs tech spending was on the mend, but CEO John Chambers warned the picture was mixed and parts of Europe remained challenging.
* Best Buy Co Inc <BBY.N> founder Richard Schulze may scrap a buyout bid and instead line up investors to take a minority position in the electronics retailer, sources familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.
* Applied Materials Inc <AMAT.O>, the world's largest chip gear maker, posted better-than-expected quarterly results driven by the popularity of smartphones and tablets, and forecast earnings ahead of analysts' estimates for the current quarter.
* The boards of AMR Corp <AAMRQ.PK> and U.S. Airways Group <LCC.N> separately met on Wednesday and approved a merger agreement, a person familiar with the matter said.
* Two test flights of Boeing Co's <BA.N> 787 Dreamliner have not revealed the cause of the battery malfunctions that grounded the jets, leaving it to focus on low-tech interim fixes, the Wall Street Journal said, citing government and industry officials.
* Boeing Co <BA.N> denied misconduct by its managers after a union representing engineers and technical workers accused the plane maker's security staff of intimidating some members over labor contract votes.
* Weight Watchers International Inc <WTW.N> forecast full-year earnings below Wall Street expectations as attendance at its diet meetings remained low so far this year, sending its shares down more than 15 percent after the bell.
* Data storage equipment maker NetApp Inc <NTAP.O> reported third-quarter results that beat market estimates on growth in its services business, and forecast current-quarter adjusted earnings above expectations.
* Mondelez International Inc <MDLZ.O> reported weaker-than-expected revenue for the second time in its two quarters as an independent company, and its shares fell 3.7 percent in after-hours trade.
* Power meter maker Itron Inc <ITRI.O> reported quarterly profits and annual forecasts that missed analysts' estimates after the completion of several government-funded projects led to a drop in revenue in its energy business, sending its shares down 10 percent in after-hours trading.
* Newfield Exploration Co <NFX.N> said it will seek "strategic alternatives" for its international oil and gas holdings as it looks to focus on its U.S. business, and forecast a big fourth-quarter loss due to a write-down of natural gas assets.
* A Massachusetts jury on Wednesday said Johnson & Johnson <JNJ.N> must pay a teenage girl and her family $63 million, finding she lost much of her skin and suffered other serious harm after taking the company's Motrin painkiller in 2003.
* Brazil's copyright regulator on Wednesday stripped Apple Inc <AAPL.O> of the right to use its iPhone trademark in that country, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Wednesday.
* On the earnings front, investors awaited results from companies including Agilent Technologies Inc. <A.N>, PepsiCo <PEP.N>, Molson Coors Brewing Company <TAP.N> and CBS Corp. <CBS.N>, while on the macro front, investors awaited weekly jobless claims, due at 8:30 a.m. ET.
* U.S. stocks drifted in light volume on Wednesday, ending little changed, as investors remained cautious after the S&P 500 index briefly hit its highest intraday level since November 2007.
* About 44 percent of STOXX Europe 600 <.STOXX> companies have reported results so far in the earnings season, of which only 48 percent have met or beaten forecasts, a stark contrast with Wall Street where 72 percent of S&P 500 <.SPX> companies have reported results, of which 77 percent have met or beaten consensus, according to Thomson Reuters data.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; editing by Stephen Nisbet)