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US STOCKS-Wall St to open higher after ECB rate cut; Twitter to debut

Chuck Mikolajczak
Thursday, 7 Nov 2013 | 9:21 AM ET

* Twitter shares to debut on NYSE

* Qualcomm falls after results, outlook

* Futures up: Dow 67 pts, S&P 5.7 pts, Nasdaq 4.75 pts

NEW YORK, Nov 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were poised for a higher open on Thursday, after an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank reinforced expectations global central banks will continue to take actions to buoy struggling economies worldwide.

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

"The ECB has indicated they were tied to interest rates already in prior meetings, focusing on price stability, and as price stability deteriorated that warranted an interest rate cut," said Anastasia Amoroso, Global Market Strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds in New York.

"There was a clear indicator that pushed them to make the decision, which is the deterioration in core inflation, and in a way they had no choice but to show to the market their credibility by providing support to the economy."

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 climbed 1.1 percent and the Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF rose 0.4 percent to $56.98 before the opening bell.

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."

Economic data showed gross domestic product expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate, the quickest pace since the third quarter of 2012, an acceleration from a 2.5 percent clip in the second quarter and above economists' expectations for a 2.0 percent rate.

Separately, weekly initial jobless claims fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000 last week, roughly in line with expectations of a drop to 335,000.

The GDP data, coupled with Friday's payrolls report from the Labor Department, may give investors insight into 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 5.7 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 67 points and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 4.75 points.

Qualcomm Inc shares dropped 3.6 percent to $67.20 in premarket trade 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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