* Crude still at elevated price, Bullard sees no risk
* Buffett sees record Berkshire capital spending
* HSBC ADRs fall after forecast
* Futures up: Dow 43 pts, S&P 4 pts, Nasdaq 7.25 pts
* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Adds quote, Bullard comments, updates prices, Amazon
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Feb 28 U.S. stock index futures were
higher on Monday after bullish comments from a Federal Reserve
official about the economy, easing concerns that high oil
prices could hurt economic activity.
In another boost to stocks, Warren Buffett, chairman of
conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N), said in his
widely read annual letter the conglomerate will engage in
record capital spending in the coming year. [ID:nN26170376]
Equities had their worst performance since November last
week as the civilian revolt in Libya sparked a steep jump in
crude oil prices, raising fears that higher energy could affect
economic growth. For details, see [ID:nLDE71Q0MP] and [O/R]
James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed, said the
rise in oil wasn't a big enough shock to damage the recovery,
adding that the U.S. economy was in very good shape for 2011.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were modestly higher Monday and
still at elevated levels, but off the highs of the previous
week. JPMorgan raised its average forecast for Brent by nearly
14 percent for 2011, citing the impact from Libya.
"Traders are biding their time to see how the situation in
Libya plays out and how it impacts crude prices," said James
Dailey, portfolio manager of TEAM Asset Strategy Fund in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. "With earnings season mostly over,
issues like that will have an out-sized impact."
The dollar fell to three-month lows on expectations the
threat to growth from high oil would keep U.S. monetary policy
loose, in contrast to the more hawkish outlooks of other major
S&P 500 futures SPc1 rose 4 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 DJc1
gained 43 points and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc1 put on 7.25
U.S.-listed shares of HSBC Holdings Plc HBC.N fell 3.8
percent to $55.07 in premarket trading after cutting its profit
targets due to costs from tougher banking regulations.
Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) fell 2.1 percent to $173.50 in
premarket trading after UBS downgraded shares of the online
retailer to "neutral" from "buy," citing increased costs.
Private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) will pay
about $9.4 billion for nearly 600 U.S. shopping malls and other
properties of Australia's debt-laden Centro Properties
CNP.AX, a source said. [ID:nL3E7DS07B]
January pending home sales, which will be released after
the market opens, are seen falling 2.2 percent after a rise in
the previous month.
Companies scheduled to report quarterly results include AES
Corp (AES.N), Edison International (EIX.N) and Range Resources
U.S. stocks rose on Friday, bouncing back from a three-day
sell-off as oil stabilized, but unease over Libya was seen
keeping buying in check.