* Obama to promote tax agenda in Pennsylvania
* Whole Foods Market announces special cash dividend
* Personal income, Chicago PMI on tap
* Futures: S&P flat, Dow up 6 pts, Nasdaq up 4.75 pts
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Nov 30 U.S. stock index futures were
little changed on Friday, the final trading day of the month,
amid a cautious mood as investors kept their focus firmly on
U.S. budget talks.
Trading has been choppy lately, as investors buy on sporadic
dips in the market and react to mixed headlines out of
Washington regarding progress in talks on averting the "fiscal
cliff," spending cuts and tax hikes that will come into effect
in the new year.
U.S. President Barack Obama plans to travel to a factory in
Pennsylvania to press his case on raising taxes on the wealthy
to narrow the deficit.
"Washington brinkmanship and a delay in reaching an
agreement on the fiscal cliff are likely to rattle markets.
These risks and uncertainties are likely to keep markets
volatile," said John Praveen, chief investment strategist at
Prudential International Investments Advisers LLC.
"However, we expect an agreement in Washington preventing
the U.S. economy plunging over the cliff, and further
stabilization in euro zone," Praveen said. "This, combined with
the liquidity and interest rate tailwinds, should fuel a relief
rally into 2012 year-end."
After a close relationship for several years, Facebook Inc
and Zynga Inc revised terms of a partnership
agreement between the companies; under the new pact, Zynga will
have limited ability to promote its site on Facebook. Zynga
shares were down 6.9 percent at $2.43 in premarket trading.
Facebook shares were up 0.8 percent at $27.55.
Whole Foods Market Inc announced a special cash
dividend of $2.00 per share. In expectation of higher dividend
tax rates in 2013, companies have been shifting dividends or
announcing special payouts to shareholders.
The U.S. Commerce Dept releases October personal income and
consumption data at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT). Economists in a
Reuters survey expect a 0.2 percent rise in income, and an
unchanged reading for spending. In September, income grew 0.4
percent and spending was up 0.8 percent.
The Institute for Supply Management in Chicago releases
November index of manufacturing activity at 9:45 a.m. (1445
GMT). A reading of 50.5 is expected, compared with 49.9 in
S&P 500 futures were flat and in line with 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 added 6
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 4.75 points.
Apple Inc's latest iPhone has received final
clearance from Chinese regulators, paving the way for a December
debut in a highly competitive market where the lack of a new
model had severely eroded its share of product sales.
Japan's Nikkei average hit a seven-month closing high
on Friday as a weaker yen, driven by expectations the Bank of
Japan will act more boldly under a likely new government
following Dec. 16 elections, lifted the shares of exporters.
European shares were steady at 15-month highs as investors
squared the books on the final trading day of the month, with
all eyes on U.S. budget talks.
U.S. stocks finished higher on Thursday as investors bought
on sporadic dips in a market roiled by conflicting comments from
Washington on negotiations to avert the "fiscal cliff,"
automatic spending cuts and tax rises set to begin in 2013.