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Futures Lose Gains on GDP Surprise

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 | 7:36 AM ET

U.S. stock index futures surrendered earlier gains on news that U.S. economic growth turned negative in the fourth quarter.

The Commerce Department said gross domestic product fell 0.1 percent in the quarter, well below expectations of modest 1 percent growth, though much of the drag appeared to come from cuts in inventory and government spending.

Consumer and business spending, considered integral economic drivers, both improved in the market, while home building also rose.

Market losses were muted, with an open around breakeven likely.

Investors also will be watching the Federal Reserve's first policy statement of 2013. as well as a fresh round of earnings.

Dow compoent Boeing delivered a positive surprise, reporting a profit of $1.28 a share, nine cents ahead of estimates, while revenue was roughly in line at $22.38 billion. Shares gained nearly 1 percent in premarket trading. (Read More: Boeing Was Aware of Battery Problems Before the Fires)

In other economic news, a report from ADP and Moody's Analytics showed private businesses created 196,000 new jobs from December to January, a number that was better than estimates.

The Fed will announce the outcome of its two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting at 2:15 p.m. New York time.

"The first FOMC meeting of 2013 is unlikely to bring any major policy changes. After all, it comes only six weeks after the Fed expanded its large-scale asset purchases and linked its pledge to leave rates at near-zero to explicit thresholds for the unemployment rate and inflation, " wrote Economist Paul Ashworth in a research note by independent research firm Capital Economics.

"The annual rotation of voting members will have little impact too, although the group will be slightly more dovish this year."

In addition, crude oil inventories for last week will be released by the Energy Department at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Inventories rose by 2.8 million barrels in the prior week.

Numbers from Fiat/Chrysler will also be in focus on Wednesday, after Ford shares fell five percent on Tuesday when the automaker posted a profit of 31 cents that easily topped estimates, but forecast a wider loss in Europe due to the continent's recession.

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche posted fourth quarter earnings early on Wednesday which narrowly beat forecasts, following upbeat results from rivals Pfizer and Eli Lilly on Tuesday.

- By CNBC's Katy Barnato


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