US STOCKS-Futures inch up on economic confidence; GDP due

Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:57am EST
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* Red Hat gains after earnings, outlook

* Blackberry tumbles after results

* Final GDP reading due

* Futures up: Dow 15 pts, S&P 1.4 pts, Nasdaq 4.5 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Dec 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track for its biggest weekly climb in two months, as investors appeared confident the economy will grow even as the Federal Reserve scales back its monthly stimulus.

Investors will eye the final reading of gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT) for confirmation of a growing economy. Economists in a Reuters survey expect the economy to show growth of 3.6 percent on an annualized basis.

"The herd mentality will tell you the economy is improving, albeit sporadically and unevenly," said Keith Bliss, senior vice-president at Cuttone & Co in New York.

"If the herd decides they want to buy stocks, then ultimately the cynic has to go buy stocks too because they will be left behind."   Continued...