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Stock Futures Pare Gains as Stein Hints at Tapering

Tickers in this article: ACN BBRY CELG PFE ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were paring gains Friday after Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein indicated the Fed could begin curbing its bond-buying program in September, and BlackBerry plunged after a disappointing quarter.

Futures for the S&P 500 were up 2 points, or 1.8 points above fair value, to 1,608.5. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 13 points, or 5.51 points above fair value, to 14,949. Futures for the Nasdaq were adding 2.75 points, or 2.66 points above fair value, to 2,902.25.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was falling 8/32, boosting the yield to 2.502%. The dollar was down 0.05% to $82.86 according to the U.S. dollar index.

BlackBerry shares were plunging 23.41% to $11.09 after the company missed Wall Street's top- and bottom-line estimates in its first-quarter results on Friday. The smartphone maker reported revenue of $3.1 billion, up from $2.8 billion in the prior year's quarter, but below analysts' forecasts of $3.36 billion. BlackBerry reported a loss from continuing operations of $84 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with a loss of $510 million, or 97 cents a share, in the prior year's quarter.

Accenture was plunging more than 8% to $73.10 after the company's quarterly revenues missed expectations and the consulting firm reduced its full-year sales guidance after two years of growth.

During a speech on monetary policy to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Stein urged investors to not look so much nonfarm payrolls data that is released going into the month's meeting. He cautioned that any move by the central bank to wind down stimulus will likely be decided according to economic numbers that preceded those jobs numbers and had been released since the Fall 2012 period when QE3 was launched, in assessing the overall U.S. recovery and in order to lessen potential volatility in the markets.

"The best approach is for the Federal Reserve to be clear that in making a decision in, say, September, it will give primary weight to the large stock of news that has accumulated since the inception of the program and will not be unduly influenced by whatever data releases arrive in the few weeks before the meeting ... as salient as these releases may appear to be to market participants," Stein commented.

"Even if a data release from early September does not exert a strong influence on the decision to make an adjustment at the September meeting, that release will remain relevant for future decisions," he said. "If the news is bad, and it is confirmed by further bad news in October and November, this would suggest that the 7% unemployment goal is likely to be further away, and the remainder of the program would be extended accordingly."