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US STOCKS-Futures dip after Alcoa results, outlook

* Alcoa beats expectations but cautions of slowdown

* Yum Brands defies China sluggish growth, raises outlook

* True Religon exploring sale, shares jump

* Futures off: Dow 37 pts, S&P 0.6 pt, Nasdaq 3.5 pts

(Adds comment, updates prices)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edgedlower on Wednesday after Alcoa kicked off earnings season bywarning of a slight slowdown in some markets, highlightingconcerns about sluggish global growth, even as its quarterlyresults beat expectations.

Stronger demand for aluminum products from airplane andautomobile producers helped Dow component Alcoa Inc's

third-quarter profit beat analysts expectations, but it scaledback its global aluminum consumption outlook for 2012, citingthe slowdown in China. Alcoa shares lost 0.7 percent to $9.07 in

premarket trade.

Lackluster growth in China, the world's second-largesteconomy, is expected to rein in corporate earnings in the thirdquarter and dent profit forecasts as the Asian nation feels thepinch of the debt crisis in the euro zone, a key tradingpartner.

Earlier in the week, the World Bank cut its growth forecastfor East Asia on concerns China's slowdown could last longerthan expected.

"The slowing global growth story has always been anundercurrent that has been evident in the market place, but itwas hard to take that fact and employ it inside of an investortrading strategy when you still had central banks flooding theworld with cash and supporting asset prices," said Keith Bliss,senior vice president at Cuttone & Co in New York.

"So we are at an interesting inflection point in the marketplace where people could start focusing on the fundamentals andexamine third-quarter earnings thoroughly" against a backdrop ofslowing global growth and how that will impact the next fewquarters' earnings and equity valuations, Bliss said.

Analysts forecast third-quarter earnings of Wall Street'sS&P 500

companies would fall 2.3 percent from theyear-ago quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, which wouldbe the first drop in U.S. quarterly earnings in three years.

According to data through Tuesday, 94 companies in thebenchmark S&P index have issued negative outlooks, compared with22 positive pre-announcements, for a ratio of 4.3, the weakestshowing since the third quarter of 2001.

Going against general declines was Yum Brands Inc

,

which gained 3.8 percent to $68.53 in premarket trading. The KFCparent company had raised its full-year outlook after sales inChina held up, despite that nation's cooling economy.

S&P 500 futures

shed 0.6 point and were slightlybelow fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by takinginto account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration onthe contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures

fell

37 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures

lost 3.5 points.

Economic data expected Wednesday include wholesaleinventories for August at 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT) and the FederalReserve's Beige Book of economic conditions at 2:00 p.m. (1800GMT).

Chevron Corp

dipped 1.6 percent to $115.50 inpremarket after the second-largest U.S. oil company warnedthird-quarter profits would be "substantially lower" than in theprevious quarter as a hurricane and maintenance curbed its oiland gas output and a fire hit its refining arm.

U.S. engine maker Cummins Inc

lowered its 2012forecast for a second time this year, citing delays in customerspending due to a weakening global economy, and said it wouldcut up to 1500 jobs.

Earnings from warehouse chain Costco Wholesale Corp

were a bright spot; the company reported a 27 percent jump infourth quarter profit, on higher sales and membership fees.

Coming on the heels of a 2013 profit forecast that was cutlast month, FedEx Corp

said it plans to slash costs atits underperforming express air freight and services divisions,with profit improvements of $1.7 billion planned at thoseoperations over the next four years.

True Religion Apparel Inc

surged 25.7 percent to$26.40 in premarket trading after the denim maker said it wasevaluating strategic alternatives which could include a possiblesale of the company, after receiving indications of interestfrom third parties.

European shares were lower for a third straight session,hurt by expectations of weak corporate results that may weigh onequity markets into next month.

Asian shares fell, with Japanese stocks sliding 2 percent toa two-month low, on concerns that the corporate results seasonwill reveal weaker earnings in the face of flagging globaleconomic growth.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

((charles.mikolajczak@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 646 2235234)(Reuters Messaging:charles.mikolajczak.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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