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Wall Street dips after Fed's Bullard talks about rates

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[June 27, 2014]  By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Friday, with major indexes largely on track to close out a week of modest losses as investors grew cautious over the state of economic growth.

* While the S&P 500 remains 0.3 percent away from a record closing high, further gains may be difficult to come by following some negative data and comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who said interest-rate increases should come sooner rather than later.

* Ongoing violence in Iraq continues to be a concern for investors, as prolonged tension in the region could cause a prolonged spike in crude oil prices and weigh on consumer spending.

* Nike Inc <NKE.N> reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations on strong sales in North America and Europe, while DuPont <DD.N> cut its full-year operating profit outlook, citing weakness in its agriculture and performance chemicals divisions.

* News on both companies, which are Dow components, came after the market closed on Thursday. Nike rose 3.2 percent to $79.35 in premarket trading.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures <ESc1> fell 4.25 points and were below 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 e-mini futures <1YMc1> fell 26 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures <NQc1> lost 5.5 points.

* For the week, the Dow is down 0.6 percent and the S&P is down 0.3 percent. The Nasdaq, which is up 0.3 percent, is on track for its sixth weekly rise out of the past seven. The CBOE Volatility index <.VIX> is up 7.2 percent this week.

* Volume may be heavy going into the close on Friday, when Russell Investments announces the final reconstitution of its indexes, which will affect more than $5 trillion in assets.

* Market participants are looking ahead to the final read on June consumer sentiment from the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers at 9:55 a.m. EDT, which is seen rising slightly to 82 from 81.2. The report follows a weaker-than-expected report on consumer spending earlier this week, as well as an unexpectedly wide contraction in first-quarter economic activity.

* In company news, Relational Investors LLC late Thursday disclosed an 8.52 percent stake in Manitowoc Co Inc <MTW.N> and said it was embarking on a plan to separate it into two companies.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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