* Q1 GDP data shows economy contracted
* Corporate earnings down 8.7 pct
* Altera up on report of Intel takeover interest
* Futures down: Dow 47 pts, S&P 5.5 pts, Nasdaq 14.25 pts (Adds quote, updates prices)
By Sweta Singh
May 29 (Reuters) – U.S. stock futures were largely unchanged, keeping the market on course to open lower on Friday, after data showed that the economy contracted in the first quarter.
The U.S. government slashed its gross domestic product estimate to show it shrinking at a 0.7 percent annual rate instead of the 0.2 percent growth pace it estimated last month.
Economists had expected GDP would be revised down to show it contracting at a 0.8 percent pace.
“Monetary policy from the Fed is forward looking and GDP by definition is in the rear view mirror and the important thing now is that it wasn’t a big miss,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital.
Investors keep a keen eye on economic data for clues to narrow down the timing of an increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve.
“So far, the Fed’s been data dependent and the data including today’s GDP numbers on average continues to be weaker than expected, which removes an imminent threat from the Fed to raise rates,” Sarhan said.
With growth estimates so far for the second quarter around 2 percent, the economy appears poised for its worst first half performance since 2011.
The GDP report also showed that corporate profits declined 8.7 percent – the largest drop in a year and the second straight quarterly fall – as the dollar weighed on multinational corporations and oil prices hurt domestic firms.
Greece’s ability to strike a deal with its euro zone partners by Sunday also weighed on global markets.
A euro zone official said Greece will not be able to get the money still available under its current bailout plan if it does not agree to the outline of a reforms-for-cash deal with creditors by the end of next week.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 5.5 points and their fair value – a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract – indicated a lower open.
Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures fell 47 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures lost 14.25 points.
Altera rose 5.7 percent to $49.67 in premarket trading after the New York Post reported that Intel was close to buying the chipmaker for about $15 billion. Intel was up 0.85 percent to $34.30.
Splunk fell 3.19 percent to $68.80 after the data analytics software maker posted a bigger quarterly loss, hurt by higher expenses.
Heron Therapeutics rose 33.60 percent to $16.50 after the company’s nausea drug met the main goal in a late-stage trial.