US STOCKS-Futures tick up, fiscal cliff angst lingers

Tue Dec 4, 2012 7:54am EST

* Coach advances dividend payable date to Dec. 27

* Cerberus may join Virtu bid for Knight Capital -WSJ

* Futures up: Dow 10 pts, S&P 1.2 pts, Nasdaq 4.5 pts

NEW YORK, Dec 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged up in low volume on Tuesday as the market continues to be hostage to negotiations in Washington on how to avert a "fiscal cliff" that could push the U.S. economy into recession.

* Congress Republicans proposed steep spending cuts on Monday but gave no ground on President Barack Obama's call to raise taxes, and the proposal was dismissed by the White House.

* Headlines about the negotiations have dominated market action of late, with many expecting Congress to come up with a deal that could trigger a rally in equities.

* Coach became the latest company to advance the date of its next dividend payment. Expectations of higher taxes on dividends kicking in next year have pushed many companies to pay special dividends this year or advance their next pay back to investors.

* S&P 500 futures rose 1.2 points and were slightly above 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 rose 10 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 4.5 points.

* A light data calendar for Tuesday includes the Institute for Supply Management-New York release of its November index of regional business activity at 9:45 a.m. (1445 GMT).

* Cerberus Capital Management is in talks to join Virtu Financial's bid for U.S. brokerage Knight Capital Group, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the discussions. Knight became a takeover target after a trading glitch left it nearly bankrupt earlier his year.

* Shares of Pep Boys-Manny Moe and Jack were down 7.4 percent in light premarket trading a day after the release of the auto parts retailer's results.

* U.S. stocks struggled on Monday to extend the previous week's gains, dropping as disappointing numbers on U.S. factory activity dampened optimism about China's economic growth. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.46 percent to 12,965.60 at the close. The S&P 500 declined 0.47 percent to 1,409.46 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.27 percent, to 3,002.20.

FILED UNDER: