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Pre-Market: Apple Defeats Patent Trolls in Germany; US GDP Revised Down


Consumer sentiment data is on tap today.

US stocks were poised to start the last day of February lower after US GDP was revised downward.

Before the opening bell, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were down 0.05% to 16,264. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) declined by 0.09% to 1,852.30 after the index hit a fresh record high on Thursday. Futures on the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) fell 0.10% to 3,697.75.

The bond offering from Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) drew $2 billion in convertible debt, exceeding the company's target of $1.6 billion. The debt sale was the largest of its kind in two years., Inc. (NYSE:CRM) shares rose 0.65% despite yesterday's report showing that the company's loss widened. In the fiscal fourth quarter ending on Jan. 31, the customer relationship management company posted a net loss of $116.6 million, or $0.19 per share, down from a $0.04 per share loss a year earlier. Revenue rose 37% to $1.15 billion. Excluding one-time items, it earned $0.07 per share.

Shares of the Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) fell 0.11% after the apparel retailer reported earnings. Net profit fell 13% to $307 million, or $0.68 per share, down from $351 million a year earlier as sales fell 3.2% to $4.58 billion. Analysts had expected $0.66 per share in profit. The fall in sales was partly due to heavy discounting during the holiday shopping season.

A court in Germany dismissed a patent infringement suit against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL. The 1.57 billion lawsuit alleged that Apple infringed on patents on technology that make it possible to prioritize emergency calls when networks are busy. The suit came from IPCom, which makes no products, but rather sues mobile device makers.

Mt. Gox, the Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange, has filed for bankruptcy protection. Mt. Gox has said that it has lost 850,000 bitcoins, including 100,000 of its own digital wealth. If those bitcoins could be exchanged for cash, they would be worth $473 million.

This morning, the government revised America's fourth-quarter GDP growth to a rate of 2.4% from 3.2%. This was even worse than the 2.5% growth rate that economists had expected.

Later this morning, the final reading of this month's Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index will come out. Economists expect it to rise to 81.5 from the preliminary reading of 81.2. The National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index will also come out. The index is likely to have risen 2.3% in January after a 8.7% plunge in December 2013.

The US Treasury reported yesterday that the federal budget deficit has fallen more sharply than in any year since World War II in fiscal 2013. The government spent $680 billion more than it took in, down from a $1.1 trillion deficit in 2012.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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