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Market Hustle: Stock Futures Trim Gains on Consumer Spending Revision

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were trimming gains Friday after a downward revision to consumer spending levels but remained in positive territory thanks to the resurfacing of China stimulus hopes.

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were higher by 33 points, or 32.77 points above fair value, at 16,215, S&P 500 futures were up 5 points, or 4.06 points above fair value, at 1,845.5, and Nasdaq futures were up 13.7 points, or 14.22 points above fair value, at 3,568.
  • Personal income and spending for February both rose 0.3%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The results beat and matched estimates, respectively. Economists were expecting a 0.2% uptick in personal income and 0.3% increase in spending.
  • January personal spending levels were downwardly revised to 0.2% from 0.4%. "It's the downward revision to January's consumption that is the most interesting point -- it suggests downward revision to Q1 real GDP forecasts -- now running in the 1.25%-1.75% range," noted Ian Lyngen, a bond strategist at CRT Capital.
  • The final reading on the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for March will be released at 9:55 a.m. EDT.
  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is urging deepening reforms and economic restructuring in China to help maintain growth at a reasonable pace, the Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.
  • "We have the capability, confidence and condition to maintain economic growth at a reasonable range," said Li during economic development seminar on Wednesday, the news agency reported Friday. "The difficulties and challenges such as the increasing pressure on a downward economy should not be neglected," he added.
  • International markets were mostly higher as the markets took Li's comments as an indicator of China stimulus to come. The UK FTSE 100 was rising 0.53%, the DAX in Germany was increasing 0.96%, Japan's Nikkei 225 settled up 0.5%, and the Hong Kong Hang Seng closed up 1.06%.
  • Major U.S. stock markets dipped Thursday after a disappointing a GDP result, though initial weekly jobless claims continued to fall.
  • Zynga (ZNGA - Get Report)shares were popping more than 3% on Friday after billionaire Steven Cohen raised his stake in the company to 5.3%. Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) was rising 0.97% in premarket trading. The company currently has no plans to offer a free streaming media service, the company said in an email to TheStreet, tempering speculation that the online retailing giant is in the process of converting its Prime video subscriptions to a free, ad-supported model while also offering a Pandora ( (P))-like music service.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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