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Stock futures dip after new Russia sanctions

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[July 17, 2014]  By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Thursday, in the wake of new U.S. and European Union sanctions on Russia and ahead of data on the labor and housing markets.

The U.S. sanctions announced late Wednesday hit some of Russia's biggest firms while the EU sanctions were aimed at Russian companies that help destabilize Ukraine and will block new loans to Russia through two multilateral lenders. Russia's MICEX index lost 2.9 percent.

Data at 8:30 a.m. EDT includes weekly initial jobless claims and housing starts for June. The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey is due later in the session at 10:00 a.m.

As earnings season continues to roll along, Morgan Stanley <MS.N> shares advanced 0.8 percent to $32.76 in premarket trading after posting second-quarter results.

Sandisk Corp shares slumped 7.5 percent to $99.70 before the opening bell after the company reported second-quarter profit and revenue that barely beat analysts' expectations and gave a third-quarter revenue forecast that was below Wall Street's estimate.

Mattel shares dropped 5.2 percent to $37 in light premarket trade after the world's largest toymaker reported its third straight fall in quarterly sales on a slump in demand for Barbie dolls and Fisher Price preschool toys.

Google and IBM are scheduled to report earnings after the closing bell.

S&P 500 companies' profits are expected to grow 5.2 percent in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, down from the 8.4 percent growth forecast at the start of April. Revenue is seen up 3.2 percent.

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Thomson Reuters data also shows that of the 45 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings through Wednesday morning, 66.7 percent have topped Wall Street expectations, roughly in-line with the 67 percent rate for the past four quarters and above the 63 percent rate since 1994.

S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 11.25 points and fair value - a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract - indicated a lower open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures fell 56 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures lost 25.25 points.

European stock markets fell as the new Western sanctions on Russia and mixed corporate earnings dented investors' appetite for equities.

Asian equities dipped, giving up earlier modest gains as Chinese shares fell.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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