* Dow, S&P come off records after five days of gains
* Jobless claims on tap, seen rising from last week
* Groupon revenue growth faster than expected
* Dow flat, S&P down 2 pts, Nasdaq down 4 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, May 9 U.S. stock index futures were
flat on Thursday after the S&P 500 closed at a record high for a
fifth consecutive session a day earlier, and ahead of the latest
data on the labor market.
Equity markets have surged since last week's
stronger-than-expected payroll report suggested that fears of
slowing growth may be overdone. The S&P 500 has risen 3.2
percent over the past five sessions, while the Dow has also set
Jobless claims are seen rising to 335,000 in the latest
week, up from 324,000. A discouraging read on the labor market
could spark a decline, with many analysts anticipating at least
a short-term pullback and amid a dearth of trading catalysts
"The jobs data really dispelled a lot of worries about a
slowdown, but we could still move on the claims data if it
surprises," said Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at
Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The market's uptrend has been boosted by strong corporate
earnings and an accommodative monetary environment from the
Federal Reserve, which analysts say makes stocks cheaper than
other asset classes on a valuation basis. Investors have used
any market declines in 2013 as a buying opportunity.
"We've gotten somewhat overextended, so we could see a pause
around these levels," said Saut. "Still, we have support around
1,610 (on the S&P) and a lot of pressure to buy on dips, so any
pullback should be minor."
S&P 500 futures dipped 2 points and were slightly
below 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 were
flat and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 4 points.
The S&P 500 has climbed 14.5 percent so far this year, while
the Dow has advanced 15.3 percent and the Nasdaq has gained 13
percent. Still, the market remains below overbought territory,
with the relative strength index on the S&P 500 slightly below
While moves have been slight this week - the S&P rose just
0.5 percent on its strongest day - that the three major U.S.
stock indexes have ended sessions higher than where they began
in an indication that positive momentum will continue. Trading
volumes have been below average, however, which could indicate a
lack of conviction.
News Corp reported earnings late Wednesday that
beat expectations while revenue rose 14 percent. Rupert
Murdoch's media company also said it was on track to split off
its slow-growing publishing business by the end of June.
Groupon Inc posted revenue growth of 7.5 percent in
the first quarter, more than analysts had expected. Shares
jumped 11 percent to $6.20 in premarket trading, though they are
down more than 8 percent this month.
Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc soared 29 percent to
$23 in premarket trading after web publication Tech Crunch
reported that Microsoft Corp had offered to buy the
digital assets of Nook Media for $1 billion, citing internal
With about 440 S&P 500 components having reported, earnings
have largely been better than expected this quarter, with the
majority of companies surpassing estimates. Still, revenue has