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Stock Futures Lower as GDP Rises 2%

Stock futures were falling despite news the U.S. economy grew 2% in the third quarter, as expected.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Stock futures slumped Friday despite news that the U.S. economy expanded 2%, as expected, in the third quarter.

Futures for the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

were down by 30 points, or 43 points below fair value, at 11,019. Futures for the

S&P 500

were 5 points lower, or 6 points below fair value, at 1174, and

Nasdaq

futures were off by 3 points, or 4 points below fair value.

Stocks stalled Thursday even though initial weekly jobless claims fell to a three-month low as investors sought to minimize risk ahead of the

Federal Reserve's

upcoming policy-setting meeting.

Late Thursday,

Microsoft

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reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings of 62 cents per share, and sales rose 25% to $16.2 billion, exceeding Wall Street estimates.

The U.S. economy expanded 2% in the third quarter, according to the Department of Commerce's advance estimate. The quarterly gross domestic product growth met expectations and compares with second-quarter growth of 1.7%.

Investors get a read on manufacturing activity in the Chicago area at 9:45 a.m. EDT with the Chicago purchasing managers index. Economists anticipate a lower reading of 58 in October, after September's level of 60.4.

At 9:55 a.m., the University of Michigan's final reading on October consumer sentiment is expected to inch up to 68 from 67.9 previously, according to Briefing.com.

Chevron

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reported a third-quarter profit of $1.87 a share, missing expectations for a profit of $2.15 a share.

Merck

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reported a 90% drop in third-quarter earnings but adjusted earnings of 85 cents a share beat expectations by 3 cents and sales of $11.1 billion were largely in line with calls for revenue of $11.2 billion. The company lifted the low end of its full-year per-share earnings guidance to between $3.31 and $3.39 a share and sales are expected to be between $45.4 billion and $46.1 billion. Analysts are expecting 2010 earnings of $3.36 a share on sales of $45.58 billion.

Managed care company

Cigna

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said net earnings fell 6.7% to $1.13 a share, which included losses of 16 cents a share. Consensus estimates, which exclude nonrecurring items, called for a profit of $1.06 a share. Sales increased to $5.3 billion from $4.5 billion a year ago and the company guided for 2010 adjusted profits in the range of $4.35 to $4.50.

Honda

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said profits more than doubled in the second quarter to 135.93 billion yen ($1.68 billion) and sales rose 9.5% to 2.252 trillion yen

Newell Rubbermaid

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said earnings sunk 67% on charges but adjusted earnings of 42 cents a share came in a penny above estimates. Sales gained 3% to $1.49 billion, topping expectations for $.145 billion.

Estee Lauder

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said earnings jumped 36%, easily topping first-quarter estimates with an adjusted profit of 97 cents a share. Wall Street had expected earnings of 77 cents a share. Sales gained 14% to $2.09, which also exceeded the $2.02 billion in sales that analysts' projected.

In commodity markets, the December crude oil contract shed 49 cents to trade at $81.69 a barrel. The December gold contract lost 10 cents to $1,342.40 an ounce.

Meanwhile, the dollar was trading higher against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index up by 0.3%, and the benchmark 10-year Treasury note strengthened 3/32, diluting the yield to 2.658%.

Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.5% while Japan's Nikkei lost 1.8% higher. The FTSE in London declined 0.4% and the DAX in Frankfurt traded 0.3% lower.

--Written by Melinda Peer in New York

.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.