* U.S. voting begins with Obama and Romney seen
* Fashion firm Fossil drops after results
* Futures up: Dow 33 pts, S&P 4.8 pts, Nasdaq 12.25 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Nov 6 U.S. stock index futures pointed
to a higher open on Tuesday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a
second straight advance as Americans went to the polls to elect
the country's president.
Polls showed President Barack Obama and Republican
challenger Mitt Romney neck-and-neck in a race that will be
decided in a handful of battleground states. A change in
political leadership could affect sectors such as healthcare,
energy and financials.
Investors will also closely watch races in the Senate and
House of Representatives that will affect the "fiscal cliff," or
$600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases that are set to
be automatically triggered at the end of the year unless a deal
is reached between Congress and the White House.
Trading volume is expected to light unless investors can
gain some certainty about the emerging political picture.
"We do know this much, though, the resident in the White
House may change, the face of Washington is still going to be
one of tremendous gridlock, discord, and dysfunction and markets
are going to force Washington to come to terms with the
dysfunction." said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight
Capital in Jersey City, New Jersey.
"One way or the other, markets are going to dictate that the
fiscal cliff gets addressed."
S&P 500 futures rose 4.8 points 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 gained 33
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 12.25 points.
Fossil Inc slumped 9.9 percent to $84.83 in
premarket trade after the fashion accessories maker posted
lower-than-expected quarterly revenue due to a fall in sales in
Europe and a stronger dollar.
NYSE Euronext , the world's largest stock
market, is hoping ambitious cost cuts will help offset lower
trading levels in the latest sign of growing pressure on the
world's top trading firms.
Express Scripts Holding Co plunged 11.5 percent to
$55.66 in premarket action after the pharmacy benefits manager
said analysts' forecasts for its 2013 results were too
aggressive, casting doubt on how well it is integrating its $29
billion purchase of Medco Health Solutions Inc.
Zillow Inc tumbled 15.6 percent to $29 in premarket
trading after the real estate website forecast fourth-quarter
revenue below analysts' estimates. The company lost one of its
larger advertisers, Foreclosure.com.
According to Thomson Reuters data through Monday morning, of
the 387 companies in the S&P 500 that have posted earnings, 61.8
percent have topped Wall Street expectations, roughly in-line
with the 62 percent quarterly average since 1994 and below the
67 percent average over the past four quarters.
But corporate revenue has disappointed investors, with only
38.1 percent of companies besting analyst expectations, well
below the 62 percent quarterly average since 2002 and the 55
percent average over the past four quarters.