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Luke Kawa

The Globe and Mail

The Before the Bell report is updated throughout the premarket to reflect the latest news developments and market moves. Check back later for updates.

U.S. equity futures are modestly lower while Treasury yields tick higher ahead of this week's final session. S&P/TSX 60 futures also suggest the composite index is poised to open marginally below Thursday's close.

There's another important trio of U.S. data on the docket today, beginning with the second reading of U.S. fourth-quarter GDP at 8:30 am ET. This revision showed that the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 2.2 per cent in the final three months of 2014; a slowdown from the advance reading of 2.6 per cent, but above the consensus estimate of 2 per cent.

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At 10 am, January's pending home sales and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index are slated to be released.

The U.S. dollar index is paring some of yesterday's hefty advance, fulled by a decent pick-up in core consumer prices and some relatively hawkish commentary from non-voting regional Fed Presidents Loretta Mester and James Bullard.

Despite generally positive earnings reports, European bourses are trading lower ahead of the start of full-scale quantitative easing from the European Central Bank beginning next week. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei set a fresh 15-year high although the latest reading of consumer prices showed inflation moderated in January.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil, which slid below $48 (U.S.) per barrel on Thursday, is holding steady around $49 early this morning. This afternoon, the weekly Baker Hughes Rig Count figures will be released.

It's a light day on the Canadian calendar following a heavy slate of earnings this week, with Vermilion Energy Inc. scheduled to post its fourth-quarter results after the close.

Here's a look at the latest market numbers and other highlights ahead of the trading day.

Futures:

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S&P 500 -0.16 per cent; Dow -0.06 per cent; Nasdaq -0.11 per cent

Equities:

Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.32 per cent

Shanghai composite index +0.36 per cent

Japan's Nikkei +0.06 per cent

London's FTSE 100 -0.18 per cent

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Germany's DAX +0.08 per cent

France's CAC 40 +0.25 per cent

Stoxx 600 -0.03 per cent

Commodities:

WTI crude oil (Nymex Apr) +1.39 per cent at $48.84 (U.S.) a barrel

Natural gas (Nymex Apr) +1.19 per cent at $2.729

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Gold (Comex Apr) -0.07 per cent at $1,209.30 (U.S.) an ounce

Copper (Comex May) -0.98 per cent at $2.668 (U.S.) a pound

Currencies:

Canadian dollar at 80.13 (U.S.), up 0.0022

U.S. dollar index down 0.232 at 95.06

Bonds:

U.S. 10-year Treasury yield 2.0348 per cent, up 0.0052

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ECONOMIC INDICATORS:

U.S. real GDP for the fourth quarter rose at an annualized rate of 2.2 per cent, above the consensus estimate for growth of 2 per cent.

(10 a.m. ET) University of Michigan consumer sentiment. Consensus is for a reading of 94.01.

(10 a.m. ET) U.S. pending home sales. Consensus is for a 2.2 per cent rise.

STOCKS TO WATCH:

Aimia Inc. recorded lower-than-anticipated profits and revenues in the fourth quarter.

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Bombardier Inc. said the first flight of its CS300 test vehicle will take place today after yesterday's planned flight was postponed due to inclement weather.

Shares of J.C. Penney Co. are crumbling in the pre-market trade after reporting a quarterly loss and posting underwhelming guidance for the year ahead after the close on Thursday.

Earnings include: Vermilion Energy Inc.

ANALYST ACTIONS:

Leisureworld Senior Care Corp. was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at Laurentian Bank.

Aimia Inc. was cut to "sector perform" from "outperform" at National Bank.

Bank of America was cut to "neutral" from "buy" at UBS.

Stantec Inc. was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Laurentian Bank, but lowered to "neutral" from "buy" at Dundee Securities.

FedEx Corp. was raised to "outperform" from "neutral" by Credit Suisse.

Constellation Software Inc. was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at TD Securities.

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