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Stock Futures Slip Reflects Doubts Markets Can Go Much Higher

Tickers in this article: AMZN FB GM GOOG MMM V ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were slipping Thursday despite better-than-expected earnings from Facebook and data on durable goods orders that suggests the U.S. recovery may be gaining steam.

Futures for the S&P 500 were down 6 points, or 2.89 points below fair value, to 1,677.75.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were behind by 70 points, or 48.24 points below fair value, to 15,430. Futures for the Nasdaq were rising by 4 points, or 17.74 points above fair value, to 3,052 as Facebook soared 23.2% to $32.66 in premarket trading after beating second-quarter earnings estimates on Wednesday, led by strength in mobile revenue.

The social networking giant earned 19 cents a share on revenue of $1.813 billion for the quarter, as mobile advertising revenue accounted for 41% of advertising revenue. Total advertising revenue was $1.6 billion, 88% of total revenue, and up 61% from last year.

The S&P 500 slipped Wednesday, shying away from topping the 1,700 mark after coming within just points of what would have been a milestone mark for the index as caution prevailed.

Many on Wall Street remain skeptical that U.S. equities can make further additional gains after having already been boosted by investors optimistic that the Federal Reserve will sustain the stimulus measures that have lifted stock markets for more than 18 months. Better-than-expected earnings have provided a boost to sentiment though investors appear cautious about becoming further invested in this market.

"The S&P 500 is dealing with psychological resistance at 1700 and is very overbought on a short-term basis," Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ in Manhattan, said in a note. "We believe that once this price consolidation ends, the "500" could head up to the 1750 to 1765 area, based on the size of the recent reversal pattern and a Fibonacci extension based on the size of the latest pullback."

General Motors was rising 2.05% to $37.90 after the automaker beat Wall Street's earnings estimates, reflecting continuing gains in the U.S. market and a narrower-than-expected European loss of $110 million. Excluding items, the automaker earned 84 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected 75 cents. Revenue rose 3% to $39.1 billion. Analysts had estimated $38.4 billion.

Visa was popping 2.28% to $191 after swinging to a profit in its fiscal third quarter, posting earnings of $1.23 billion, or $1.88 a share, a reversal from the year-earlier loss of $1.84 billion, or $2.74 a share. Visa processed 15 billion transactions during the quarter, up 14% from last year.

3M was slipping 0.8% to $115.40 after the company that makes products ranging from Scotch tape to dental braces posted second-quarter earnings of $1.71 a share on revenue of $7.75 billion, versus the average analyst estimate of $1.70 a share on revenue of $7.77 billion, and maintained its full year outlook. The company posted sales increases at all divisions except for electronics and energy, which saw a 3.2% decline.