* Investors fret that market's rally is waning
* Consumer confidence, Case-Shiller data on tap
* Futures: S&P up 0.5 pt, Dow up 9 pts, Nasdaq off 3.5 pts
(Adds details, quote, byline)
By Leah Schnurr
NEW YORK, Oct 27 S&P 500 index futures edged
higher on Tuesday following a two-day selloff as
better-than-expected earnings offset worries that the market's
seven-month rally was reaching its end.
Energy shares could get support after BP Plc (BP.L) beat
third-quarter earnings forecasts by a big margin as its
cost-cutting program proved more successful than expected,
prompting the oil major to increase its target for savings for
the year. For details, see [ID:nLQ683027]
Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) gained 0.7 percent to $73.75 in
But the Nasdaq could see pressure as Baidu Inc (BIDU.O)
slumped 17.7 percent to $356.12 before the bell after China's
top search engine said a rocky introduction for its new system
to sell search-based advertising will hit its business into the
first quarter of next year. [ID:nSHA283787]
Investors fretted that the market might be hitting a
plateau. The S&P 500 is now up 57.7 percent from the 12-year
closing low of March 9, having slipped from its recovery peak
when it was up 62.3 percent from that low.
"It's showing the market has clearly gotten tired," said
Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New
York. "A correction has begun. It's just a matter of to what
So far, dips have been shallow and short-lived as investors
use them as opportunities to get into the market.
S&P 500 futures SPc1 rose 0.5 of a point and were 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 DJc1 gained 9
points, while Nasdaq futures NDc1 were off 3.5 points.
Stocks fell for a second straight session on Monday as
investors ditched home builders and financials on fears
lawmakers may let a federal home buyer tax credit expire, while
commodity shares succumbed to pressure from the higher U.S.
Without the home buyer credit, investors worry that the
struggling housing market might lose a crucial incentive that
has spurred hopes of stabilization in recent months.
On the macro front, investors awaited U.S. consumer
confidence data for October, due at 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT) The
index is expected to be flat with September's level at 53.1,
according to a Reuters survey of economists. Also due are
Case-Shiller home price indexes for August at 9:00 a.m. (1300
Healthcare stocks could be pressured after Democratic U.S.
Senate leader Harry Reid said on Monday the Senate's healthcare
overhaul will include a government-run insurance plan that lets
states opt out. [ID:nN26208629]
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)