May 24 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Friday as better-than-expected German economic data was overshadowed by fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve is considering an early decrease of its $85 billion monetary stimulus program.
* A top Federal Reserve official said U.S. inflation would have to pick up before he voted to scale back monetary policy stimulus and that this was unlikely to happen in the coming month.
* German business morale improved far more than expected in May, rebounding after two months of falls and suggesting Europe’s largest economy is slowly picking up speed after a sluggish first quarter.
* Abercrombie & Fitch said quarterly comparable sales fell 15 percent, which the company blamed in part on inventory shortages.
* Gap reported a higher first-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by a rise in same-store sales at its Old Navy and namesake chains, and growth in Asia.
* Salesforce.com’s quarterly earnings and outlook disappointed investors as costs rise following a spree of acquisitions, sending its shares lower.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.51 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.28 percent to 0.46 percent
* European shares, were down
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 285.5857; fell 0.34 percent
* Gold futures : $1,392; was unchanged 0 percent
* US crude : $93.52; fell 0.77 percent
* Brent crude : $102.1; fell 0.33 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,276.25; fell 0.15 percent
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Computer Modelling Group Ltd. RBC raises target price to C$25 from C$24 on the company’s solid fourth-quarter earnings.
* Enbridge Inc. RBC raises target price to C$56 from C$50, says the company’s shares should close the valuation gap with Inter Pipeline Fund and Pembia Pipeline Corp as all three companies have similar liquids infrastructure businesses that are generating above-average growth.
* Nuvista Energy Ltd. RBC raises target price to C$9 from C$8 based on more favorable per well economics.
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled
* Major U.S. events and data includes durable goods and building permits data