* S&P on track for flat week, Nasdaq up for 7 sessions
* Investors look for signs of progress with Greece deal
* Deere & Co falls in premarket after results
* Futures down: Dow 23 pts, S&P 3.5 pts, Nasdaq 0.5 pt (Updates trading)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Reuters) – S&P Futures pointed to slight losses at the open on Friday amid uncertainty over ongoing negotiations for a debt deal in Greece.
While the start of an emergency meeting of the 19-nation Eurogroup in Brussels was postponed to allow more time for preparatory talks, the new prime minister of Greece said he was certain that euro zone finance ministers would accept Athens’ request for an extended loan.
In a positive sign, Germany seemed to soften its tone after earlier this week rejecting Greece’s proposal for a loan extension, saying it fell short of conditions set by the country’s euro zone partners.
However, Maltese Finance Minister Edward Scicluna told the weekly Malta Today that the EU’s biggest countries may be prepared to let Greece leave the euro zone.
While U.S. equities have little direct exposure to Greece, a relatively small economy in the euro zone, Wall Street has risen recently on any sign of progress in reaching an accord. Investors are concerned that if no deal is reached, forcing Greece out of the euro zone, that will lead to extended volatility with a major trading partner.
In company news, Deere & Co fell 1.2 percent to $ 90.62 in premarket trading after the farm equipment maker reported a drop of 43 percent in quarterly profit, hurt by a decline in sales.
Noodles & Co plunged 28 percent to $ 19.90 on heavy volume after the fast-casual restaurant chain operator gave an adjusted profit outlook that was below expectations.
Intuit Inc late Thursday reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, helped by strong demand for its online tax-preparation software, TurboTax. Shares rose 3.7 percent to $ 94.50 before the bell.
For the S&P 500, earnings for the quarter are up 6.5 percent from a year ago, above a Jan. 1 estimate for 4.2 percent growth, Thomson Reuters data showed. The S&P 500 index has gained 1.9 percent since the start of the year.
Apple Inc edged higher in premarket trading a day after Bloomberg reported that the tech giant was aiming to begin production of an electric car as early as 2020, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
Investors await the release of a survey on February manufacturing from financial data firm Markit. The preliminary reading is expected to be little changed from January.
For the week, the Dow is down 0.2 percent, the S&P 500 is flat and the Nasdaq is up 0.6 percent. The Nasdaq has risen for seven straight sessions and is nearing the all-time high it reached in March 2000, prior to the bursting of the dot com bubble.
Futures snapshot at 8:58 a.m.:
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 3.5 points, or 0.17 percent, with 148,531 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 0.5 points, or 0.01 percent, in volume of 27,840 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were down 23 points, or 0.13 percent, with 26,267 contracts changing hands.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
- Investment & Company Information