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US STOCKS-Futures climb after ECB rate cut; Twitter to debut

Chuck Mikolajczak
Thursday, 7 Nov 2013 | 8:21 AM ET

* GDP, initial weekly jobs claims data due

* Twitter shares to debut on NYSE

* Qualcomm falls after results, outlook

* Futures up: Dow 82 pts, S&P 7.2 pts, Nasdaq 8.75 pts

NEW YORK, Nov 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures climbed on Thursday, after an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank reinforced expectations that global central banks will continue to take actions to support struggling economies worldwide.

The European Central Bank cut interest rates to a new record low, responding to a slump in inflation way below its target that has sparked fears the euro zone's economic recovery could stall.

"A little bit of a surprise but clearly a positive and the beat keeps going," said Gordon Charlop, managing director at Rosenblatt Securities in New York.

"At this point you have to think they are going to carry (market gains) not only through the fourth quarter but into next year."

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 climbed 1.2 percent and the Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF edged up 0.4 percent to $57 in premarket trade.

Investors will also brace for the market debut of Twitter Inc. It priced its initial public offering above the expected range at $26 per share to raise at least $1.8 billion, a sign of strong investor demand for the most highly anticipated U.S. public float since Facebook Inc.

"I've been concerned about revenues and the fact that one of the risks the company has pointed out that it may never make money," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst, Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

"This is not the kind of company, even if I hail from technology, that I am prepared to invest in or that I suggest anybody else ever invest in."

Data on tap for Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims and the advance estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 335,000 new claims compared with 340,000 in the prior week. GDP is expected to show a 2.0 percent annualized pace of growth compared with a 2.5 percent rate in the final Q2 estimate.

The GDP data, coupled with Friday's payrolls report from the Labor Department, may give investors insight as to how long the Fed may keep intact its plan of $85 billion a month in bond purchases. The central bank's stimulus measures have been a key component of the 24.1 percent yearly gain in the S&P 500, putting the index on pace for its best yearly performance since 2003.

S&P 500 futures rose 7.2 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 82 points and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 8.75 points.

Qualcomm Inc shares stumbled 4.1 percent to $66.90 before the opening bell after the company reported quarterly earnings and forecast revenue below expectations.

S&P 500 companies scheduled to report earnings on Thursday include Dow component Walt Disney Co, Nvidia Corp and Priceline.com Inc.

According to Thomson Reuters data, of the 423 companies in the S&P 500 that have posted quarterly earnings through Wednesday morning, 68.3 percent have topped Wall Street expectations, above the 63 percent average since 1994 and the 66 percent beat rate for the past four quarters.

Corporate revenue has been lackluster, however, with 53.5 percent of companies beating expectations, below the 61 percent rate since 2002 and slightly above the 49 percent rate for the past four quarters.

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