Stocks Futures Mixed; Apple, United Technologies Decline

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were losing steam and trading mixed Friday as positive Chinese manufacturing data was offset by ongoing uncertainties about the "fiscal cliff" negotiations in the U.S. and a selloff of Apple ( AAPL) and United Technologies ( UTX) shares.

Apple shares were sinking by more than 2% after a Delaware court ruled Thursday that the iPhone infringes upon three patents held by Sony ( SNE) and Nokia ( NOK).

United Technologies provided a 2013 profit outlook of between $5.85 a share and $6.15 a share and sales of between $64 billion to $65 billion; analysts are looking for earnings of $6.12 a share on revenue of $66.4 billion.

Shares were off more than 1%.

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met Thursday night at the White House to discuss the U.S.budget, their first in-person meeting in four days.

Statements from the White House and Boehner's office both described the talks as "frank," adding that the "lines of communication remain open."

The HSBC December flash purchasing managers' index for China expanded to a 14-month high of 50.9, exhibiting five consecutive months of increases. A reading above 50 signifies growth.

"Enthusiasm for equities continues to be tempered by the lack of progress by the White House and Congress on the fiscal cliff negotiations," said Addison Armstrong, senior director of market research at Tradition Energy.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 11 points, or 13.28 points above fair value, at 13,105. Futures for the S&P 500 were flat, or 0.20 points below fair value, at 1412. Futures for the Nasdaq were down 7.25 points, or 7.76 points below fair value, at 2639.

"China's growth has a domestic edge to it, while the Japanese growth is reflecting weakness in international demand," noted Paul Donovan, global economist at UBS.

Michael Lewis, global head of commodities research at Deutsche Bank, said despite the Fed's implementation of QE4, "the market remains focused on the potential adverse liquidity impact of the U.S. fiscal cliff."

"Furthermore, the Fed's targeting of U.S. unemployment as a tool to gauge monetary accommodation could be taken as hawkish given the apparent decline in U.S. unemployment over the past year," added Lewis.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the consumer price index fell 0.3% in November, down from a 0.1% rise in October. Economists forecast a 0.2% decline,

The core CPI rose 0.1%, down from a 0.2% increase the prior month. The consensus expectation was for a 0.2% increase.

At 9:15 a.m., the Federal Reserve is predicted to report that industrial production rose 0.3% in November following a decline of 0.4% in October, and that capacity utilization rose to 78% from 77.8%.

European markets were trading mixed as eurozone manufacturing PMI data missed expectations, Germany's December composite output PMI increased to 50.5 and Standard & Poor's slashed its outlook on the U.K.'s triple-A rating to negative from stable.

The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.19% and the DAX in Germany was up 0.17%.

Japan's Nikkei average closed down 0.05% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index settled up by 0.71%.

Gold for February delivery was up $1.30 at $1,698.10 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while January crude oil contracts were rising 82 cents at $86.71 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 2/32, diluting the yield to 1.729%. The dollar was down 0.06%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

In corporate news, UBS ( UBS) is close to an agreement to pay more than $1 billion to resolve allegations the Swiss bank tried to rig interest-rate benchmarks -- including the London interbank offered rate -- to boost trading profits, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people briefed on the negotiations.

Shares were up 0.62% in premarket trading.

Adobe Systems ( ADBE), the software maker, posted fiscal fourth-quarter results on Thursday that topped analysts' expectations.

The maker of Photoshop earned 61 cents a share on an adjusted basis in the quarter; analysts were looking for profit of 56 cents.

Adobe said fourth-quarter revenue was $1.153 billion, up from $1.152 billion a year earlier; Wall Street was expecting revenue of $1.1 billion.

Shares were popping over 5%.

VeriFone Systems ( PAY) issued a forecast Thursday for the first quarter that was below Wall Street estimates.

The electronic-payments company said it expects first-quarter adjusted earnings of 70 cents to 73 cents a share on revenue of $490 million to $500 million.

Analysts are calling for first-quarter earnings of 75 cents a share on revenue of $498 million.

Shares were tumbling more than 6.5%.

Amgen ( AMGN) shares were up 0.45% after the biotech firm raised its quarterly dividend by 31% to 47 cents a share and announced an increase in its share repurchase authorization of $2 billion.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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