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US STOCKS-Futures little changed after rally on Fed decision

Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 | 7:43 AM ET

* Facebook to offer 70 mln shares, stock drops

* Jobless claims, leading indicators, home sales data due

* Futures off: Dow 5 pts, S&P 1 pts, Nasdaq 8 pts

NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve said the economy was strong enough for it to begin paring its massive stimulus, sending the S&P 500 and Dow industrials to fresh closing highs.

* The Fed's decision Wednesday to trim its monthly asset purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion was accompanied by a dovish indication of rock-bottom interest rates for the foreseeable future, a combination that enticed buyers and helped the S&P 500 and Dow post their largest gains in two months.

* The Labor Department releases first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended Dec. 14 at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 334,000 new filings compared with 368,000 in the prior week.

* At 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), the National Association of Realtors releases existing home sales for November, the Conference Board reports November leading indicators and the Philadelphia Fed releases its December business activity survey.

* S&P 500 futures fell 1 point but were slightly 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 fell 5 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 8 points.

* Facebook shares fell 4 percent in premarket trading after it announced the offering of 70 million shares including more than 41 million shares from chief executive Mark Zuckerberg worth about $2.3 billion.

* Dish is considering a bid for T-Mobile US next year, according to people close to the matter, in what would be the satellite TV provider's second attempt at acquiring a major wireless operator.

* Darden Restaurants said it would sell or spin off its Red Lobster business, buckling under pressure from activist investor Barington Capital Group. Darden shares fell 3.6 percent in premarket trading.

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