* GDP, consumer sentiment data on tap
* J.C. Penney tumbles after earnings
* Futures off: Dow 12 pts, S&P 3.25 pts, Nasdaq 4.75 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Dow Futures were little changed on Friday, with major indexes on track for a fourth week of gains, ahead of readings on economic growth and consumer sentiment.
* At 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT), the preliminary reading on gross domestic product will be released. Expectations are for fourth-quarter growth of 2.1 percent, down from the initial 2.6 percent reading.
* Later in the session at 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), the University of Michigan’s final February reading on consumer sentiment is expected, along with pending home sales for January. Consumer sentiment is forecast to come in at 94, up from a preliminary 93.6. Pending home sales are expected to show a 2 percent rise, after a 3.7 percent decline in December.
* After a sluggish start to the year, stocks have rebounded sharply in February. Both the Dow and S&P 500 are on track for their best monthly performance since October 2011, while the Nasdaq is on pace for its best month since January 2012.
* Bank of America shares were down 1 percent to $ 15.88 in premarket after the company said two members of its board of directors and its chief accounting officer will be leaving the company in coming weeks. UBS also cut its rating on the stock to “neutral” from a “buy” rating.
* J.C. Penney dropped 11 percent to $ 8.12 before the opening bell after the retailer posted a surprise quarterly loss and forecast small margin improvements this year.
* With earnings season mostly wrapped up, Thomson Reuters data through Thursday morning shows that of the 475 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings, 69.5 percent have topped expectations, slightly above the 69 percent beat rate for the last four quarters. Earnings growth for the quarter is expected to be 6.8 percent.
* European shares were flat, pausing after their best start to the year since regional benchmarks began in late 1986, while Airbus was boosted by a strong earnings report.
* Asian equities mostly pulled back from multi-year highs, with the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.2 percent.
Futures snapshot at 7:30 a.m. EST (1230 GMT):
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 3.25 points, or 0.15 percent, with 69,706 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 4.75 points, or 0.11 percent, in volume of 10,473 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were down 12 points, or 0.07 percent, with 9,949 contracts changing hands.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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