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US STOCKS-Futures point to flat open with indexes near records
August 5, 2013 / 12:52 PM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures point to flat open with indexes near records

* Investors look for catalysts with indexes near records

* Services sector data on tap, seen flat with previous month

* U.S.-listed shares of HSBC fall after results, Tyson Foods rises

* Futures slip: Dow 16 pts, S&P 500 2.4 pts, Nasdaq 0.5 pt

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Aug 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open on Monday as investors looked for new reasons to buy following a recent rally that repeatedly took major indexes to record levels.

The S&P 500 has risen for five of the past six weeks despite Friday’s disappointing payroll report. While the report showed that hiring slowed in July, some investors were encouraged the report meant the U.S. Federal Reserve was more likely to hold steady with its monetary stimulus, which it said it would slow if economic growth met its targets this year.

The program has contributed to gains of almost 20 percent in the S&P this year. The index is up 7.4 percent over the past six weeks, suggesting further gains may be harder to come by at current levels.

“The bulls are clearly in control of the market, and there’s no sign that will change,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York. “There are subtle signs that we’re overbought, and in the short-term we could see a healthy pullback, but we’re still very healthy at these levels.”

Sarhan added that the S&P’s 50-day moving average, currently 1,690.57, could be a level of support for the index.

Investors were also looking ahead to the Institute for Supply Management’s July reading on the services sector, set for release later on Monday. The non-manufacturing index is seen at 53, slightly over the previous month’s read of 52.2.

S&P 500 futures fell 2.4 point and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 16 points and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.5 point.

U.S. shares of HSBC Holdings Plc fell 5.8 percent to $54.60 in premarket trading after the company reported a drop in revenue, hurt by slower emerging markets.

Tyson Foods rose 3.5 percent to $29.50 before the bell after giving a full-year revenue outlook that was above expectations.

Of the 391 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings for the second quarter, 67.8 percent have topped analyst expectations, in line with the average beat over the past four quarters, data from Thomson Reuters showed. About 55 percent have reported revenue above estimates, more than in the past four quarters but below the historical average.

In other company news, U.S.-listed shares of Compugen Ltd jumped 59 percent to $8.70 in premarket trading after the company announced it would enter a cancer research partnership with Bayer AG.

The New York Times Co agreed to sell The Boston Globe for $70 million in cash, less than a tenth of what the media company paid when it bought the newspaper for $1.1 billion in 1993.

Analysts said that millions of Time Warner Cable subscribers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas could be without CBS Corp programming for several weeks as the companies appear no closer to settling a fee dispute.

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