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U.S. Index Futures Little Changed After S&P 500 Erases ’14 Gain

April 8 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures declined, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index erased its gain for the year, as investors awaited the start to the first- quarter corporate-earnings season.

Eli Lilly & Co. fell 2.5 percent in Germany after a federal court ordered the drugmaker and its partner Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. to pay a combined $9 billion in punitive damages. Gigamon Inc. sank 25 percent after lowering its revenue forecast. Twitter Inc. climbed in early New York trading after tumbling in the past four days.

Futures on the S&P 500 expiring in June dropped 0.1 percent to 1,835.6 at 7:25 a.m. in New York. The stocks gauge fell yesterday, with the Nasdaq 100 Index posting its biggest three- day retreat since 2011. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts fell 25 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,153 today.

“The tech sector was just out of control, and now we’ve had reality injected back in,” Lorne Baring, who oversees about $500 million as manging director of B Capital in Geneva, said in a telephone interview. “Part of the sentiment damage that’s happening is also the geopolitical risk coming out of Ukraine.”

Ukrainian authorities sent security forces to Kharkiv to clear the country’s second-biggest city of separatists. Russia warned that its neighbor’s crackdown risks sparking civil war, and the U.S. accused the nation of instigating the raids.

Technology Shares

The Nasdaq 100 gauge of the biggest technology stocks surged 257 percent from its low in March 2009 through a 13-year high on March 5. That beat the 177 percent increase for the S&P 500 in the period.

The benchmark index of U.S. stocks lost 1.1 percent yesterday, sending its three-day drop to 2.4 percent, the most since January. The technology index fell 4.3 percent in the period, while the Russell 2000 Index of small companies sank 1.5 percent to a two-month low yesterday.

Amazon.com Inc., Whole Foods Market Inc. and Transocean Ltd. are among 43 companies that have lost more than 20 percent from their 52-week high, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The average stock is down 9 percent from its most recent peak, according to Bespoke Investment Group LLC.

Concern that the declines will worsen sent the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index for a 12 percent jump yesterday, the most since March 13. The gauge known as the VIX measures the cost of S&P 500 options and moves in opposite direction to the stocks index about 80 percent of the time.

Earnings Season

Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, will post first-quarter earnings after today’s market close. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. are among S&P 500 companies reporting earnings this week.

Profit for members of the gauge probably climbed 1 percent in the first quarter, while sales rose 2.9 percent on average, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Eli Lilly retreated 2.5 percent to $57.14 in Germany. The federal-court jury found Eli Lilly and Takeda hid the cancer risks of their Actos diabetes medicine. Asia’s largest drugmaker faced the Actos claims after it scrapped development of another diabetes drug this year.

Gigamon plunged 25 percent to $19.75 in early U.S. trading. The company lowered its first-quarter preliminary revenue forecast to $31 million to $31.5 million from an earlier estimate of $34 million to $35 million. That missed the average analyst projection that called for $34.8 million.

Nordic American Tankers Ltd. fell 10 percent to $8.47. The ship owner said it is offering 10 million shares in a public offering to finance the potential acquisition of as many as four vessels.

Twitter increased 0.4 percent to $42.62 after slumping 9.6 percent in the past four days, its longest losing streak in three months.

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