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US STOCKS-Futures flat near record levels, HP extends gains
November 27, 2013 / 1:10 PM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures flat near record levels, HP extends gains

* HP shares continue to rise on optimism about revenues

* Data on labor market, consumer sentiment and durable goods due

* Trading expected to be light ahead of Thanksgiving

* Futures up: Dow 21 pts, S&P 1.2 pt, Nasdaq 6 pts

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Nov 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday as investors found few reasons to buy before the Thanksgiving holiday and major indexes stood near historic highs.

Adding to last quarter’s higher results, technology comany Hewlett-Packard rose after it reported late on Tuesday revenues exceeded Wall Street’s forecasts.

Trading is expected to be light this week, with many market participants out for the holiday. The stock market will be closed on Thursday and will close at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Friday. The light volume could add to market volatility.

Wall Street has soared this year, largely on expectations for continued stimulus from the Federal Reserve. Both the Dow and S&P 500 have risen more than 20 percent in 2013, hitting a series of all-time highs, while the Nasdaq on Tuesday closed above 4,000 for the first time since 2000.

“A lot of investors are taking a pause, considering whether they should take gains at these levels,” said Tim Speiss, head of personal wealth advisors at EisnerAmper in New York. “There’s not much out there that will cause significant gains or losses in the markets.”

Tech shares will be in focus a day after Hewlett-Packard beat revenue forecasts. Sales growth in its enterprise group inspired optimism about the company’s turnaround plan. The stock jumped 6 percent to $26.60 in premarket trading.

S&P 500 futures rose 1.2 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 added 21 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 6 points.

The year’s equity gains have been largely uninterrupted, prompting many investors to call for at least a short-term pullback.

“The big question is whether the market is properly valued,” said Speiss. “We’ve come far enough that if we were to correct by 4 or 6 percent over the near term, that wouldn’t be that big a deal.”

While the Fed’s stimulus program is expected to put a floor under equity prices for as long as it continues, recent volatility has come on uncertainty over when the program will end. The central bank has said it would begin to slow its stimulus measures when certain economic measures meet its targets, putting a heightened focus on economic data.

Several economic reports will be released on Wednesday, including durable goods orders for October, as well as weekly jobless claims. Both will be released at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT), with durable goods orders seen falling 1.9 percent and initial jobless claims expected to rise by 7,000 to 330,000 in the latest week.

After the market opens, the November Chicago Purchasing Managers Index will be released at 9:45 a.m., followed by the final November Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan gauge on consumer sentiment at 9:55 a.m. The PMI is seen falling to 60 from 65.9, while the sentiment index is expected to rise to 73.5 from a preliminary reading of 72.

Energy shares could be pressured as crude oil dropped 1.1 percent to $92.67 alongside a higher-than-expected increase in inventories.

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