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U.S. Stock-Index Futures Little Changed Before Confidence Data

Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures were little changed, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index almost erased its losses for 2014, as investors awaited data on consumer confidence and property prices in the world’s largest economy.

Western Union Co. dropped 2.1 percent in premarket trading after disclosing it got subpoenas in November under an investigation into fraud-induced money transfers. Office Depot Inc. tumbled 10 percent after reporting an unexpected loss. Home Depot Inc. rose 2.7 percent after posting quarterly earnings that beat projections.

Futures on the S&P 500 expiring next month fell 0.2 percent to 1,842.2 at 7:45 a.m. in New York. The equities gauge has trimmed its losses this year to less than 0.1 percent. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts slipped 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,166 today.

“The consumer confidence data will probably show a bounce,” Manish Singh, who helps oversee $2 billion as head of investments at Crossbridge Capital LLP in London, said in a message. “The V-shaped move on the S&P 500 suggests that buyers have not given up and market will be supported even as it gets buffeted by volatility.”

The S&P 500 slumped 5.8 percent from its all-time high on Jan. 15 through Feb. 3. as investor concern about continued cuts to the Fed’s monthly asset purchases fueled a rout in emerging markets. The index has rebounded and is less than 0.1 percent away from its record.

Consumer Sentiment

A Conference Board report at 10 a.m. New York time may show a measure of confidence among U.S. consumers fell to 80 in February from a five-month high of 80.7 in January, according to the median prediction of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Another report at 9 a.m. may show house prices in 20 American cities increased at a slower pace in December. The S&P/Case-Schiller Index climbed 13.4 percent from a year earlier, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The gauge rose 13.7 percent in November.

Western Union lost 2.1 percent to $16.01. The U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania last year sought documents about money transfers on the company’s network as part of an investigation into whether some of them were connected to fraud. Western Union said in a filing it is cooperating with the government and might face fines or damages.

Unexpected Loss

Office Depot dropped 10 percent to $4.80 in early New York trading after reporting an unexpected loss of 3 cents a share in the fourth quarter. Analysts on average had predicted a profit of 3 cents per share.

RealPage Inc. plunged 22 percent to $16.15 in after-hours New York trading. The property-services company reported fourth- quarter earnings of 16 cents a share, missing the 17-cent median of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. RealPage also acquired the assets of Bookt LLC, which owns the vacation-rental booking website InstaManager.

Home Depot advanced 2.7 percent to $80 in early New York trading after reporting fourth-quarter net income of 73 cents a share. Analysts on average had estimated 71 cents a share. The largest U.S. home-improvement chain also raised its quarterly dividend by 21 percent to 47 cents a share.

Zulily Inc. jumped 11 percent to $47.75 in early New York trading after saying it expects first-quarter sales of $225 million to $235 million. The forecast exceeded the $223 million estimated by analysts on average. The online retailer also reported fourth-quarter earnings of 10 cents a share, exceeding the 4 cent-average of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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