US stock futures fall a day after Dow drops 249

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures are edging lower Tuesday, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 249 points as a congressional committee failed to reach a deal to cut budget deficits.

Futures turned lower after the Commerce Department lowered its estimate of economic growth in the July-September quarter. The government said the economy grew at a 2 percent annual pace, down from its initial estimate of 2.5 percent.

Economists expected the figure to remain unchanged.

Less than an hour before the opening bell, Dow futures are down 54 points, or 0.5 percent, to 11,467. S&P 500 index futures are down 6, or 0.5 percent, to 1,184. Nasdaq 100 futures are down 17, or 0.5 percent, to 2,196.

The congressional impasse over budget deficit reductions raised fears that rating agencies might lower the U.S. government’s credit rating.

But after the market closed Monday, Standard & Poor’s said the country’s credit rating was unaffected by the news. S&P added, however, that its current rating is based on the expectation that automatic cuts will start in 2013. Some Republicans have vowed to block the defense spending cuts.

In premarket trading, Netflix Inc. sank 5.3 percent. The online video rental company said it raised $400 million from selling debt and stock as it tries to recover from a consumer backlash from a price hike.

Hewlett Packard Co. lowered its earnings forecast for the 2012 fiscal year after the market closed Monday. HP said it was “cautious,” pointing to Europe’s debt crisis and weak consumer spending. HP’s stock was down 1.4 percent in premarket trading.

Medtronic Inc. shares rose 4 percent in premarket dealings after the world’s largest medical device maker reported higher-than-expected earnings and reaffirmed its full-year outlook.