* Yahoo's board approves $1.1 bln Tumblr acquisition
* Actavis to acquire Warner Chilcott in stock-for-stock deal
* Futures off: Dow 7 pts, S&P 1 pt, Nasdaq 4.75 pts
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, May 20 U.S. stock index futures dipped
in light volume on Monday as investors search for catalysts
after major U.S. equity indexes closed a fourth consecutive week
of gains Friday.
Deals including Yahoo's $1.1 billion bid for Tumblr indicate
that companies continue to search for growth through
acquisitions despite record highs, a bullish sign for stocks.
The S&P 500 and Dow industrials finished Friday at fresh
record highs and the Nasdaq Composite is at its highest since
late 2000. A light economic and earnings calendar could leave
the market vulnerable for a pullback, but those have been
shallow and short-lived as investors take any weakness as a new
chance to increase long positions.
"I'm not looking for a major down movement, but cautious
sideways is probably what we are headed for," said Peter
Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in
Cardillo pointed to Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's
testimony before Congress on Wednesday as the highlight of the
week. The beginning of the end of the Fed's massive bond-buying
program, which has given strong support to stock gains, might
come sooner than many investors think if recent gains in the
U.S. labor market hold.
S&P 500 futures dipped 1 point and were 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 fell 7
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 4.75 points.
Yahoo shares dipped 0.8 percent in premarket
trading after its board has approved a deal to buy blogging and
social networking site Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash.
Actavis confirmed it will acquire Warner Chilcott
Plc in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at $5
billion. Actavis shares rose 2.8 percent in premarket trading
and Warner Chilcott added 3.2 percent.
Pactera Technology International said it received a
proposal from a Blackstone affiliate, its non-executive chairman
and its chief executive to take the company private. Pactera
shares rose 29 percent in light premarket trading.
Websense Inc shares jumped 30 percent premarket
after it agreed to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners.
Solar products maker JA Solar Holdings reported
another quarterly loss on lower prices for panels that convert
sunlight into electricity, but its operating loss nearly halved
from the first quarter of 2012. Its shares jumped 12.8 percent
higher in light premarket trading.
China's housing inflation accelerated to its fastest pace in
two years in April, a hurdle for policymakers trying to cool the
property sector while supporting economic expansion.