* U.S. Oct consumer spending stumbles as income growth
* Obama to promote tax agenda in Pennsylvania
* Zynga shares plunge after revising deal with Facebook
* Futures: S&P flat, Dow up 2 pts, Nasdaq up 2 pts
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Nov 30 Wall Street was set to open
flat on Friday, the final trading day of the month, amid a
cautious mood as investors kept their focus firmly on U.S.
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.
"So far, all the back-and-forth and shared smiles at the
White House podium during recent press conferences that promise
us a meaningful and workable framework, thus far we have
nothing," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist, at
Miller Tabak & Co in New York.
Still, "despite the impasse last night, it appears that the
market remains comfortable John Boehner's perspective remains
that there is still a workable framework behind the
negotiations," he said.
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said Thursday
no substantive progress had been made in fiscal negotiations
with the White House, and criticized President Barack Obama and
Democrats for failing to get serious about including spending
cuts in a final deal.
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 8.4 percent at $2.40 in premarket trading.
Facebook shares were down 0.4 percent at $27.20.
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.
U.S. consumer spending fell in October for the first time in
five months as income growth stalled, suggesting slower economic
growth in the fourth quarter. Market reaction
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 2
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 2 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.