* FireEye jumps after Mandiant buy
* Light volume expected after snowstorm
* Automakers' December sales due
* Futures up: Dow 32 pts, S&P 3.9 pts, Nasdaq 6 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Jan 3 U.S. stock index futures
advanced modestly on Friday, after Wall Street began the new
year with a decline and investors grappled with a snowstorm that
blasted the northeastern United States.
U.S. stocks fell on their first day of trading in 2014 as
investors booked profits in the wake of the S&P 500's best
yearly advance since 1997, with many of last year's strongest
performers down on the day.
After closing 2013 with a gain of 29.6 percent, its best
yearly performance since 1997, the S&P 500 opened the
year with a decline of 0.89 percent, as each of the ten major
S&P sectors lost ground.
Market volume, already expected to be on the light side as
many market participants remain out of the office due to the New
Year's holiday-interrupted week, will likely be anemic after a
snowstorm caused more than 1,000 U.S. flight delays and
cancellations, paralyzed road travel, and closed schools and
"Slow just got slower. This session is not going to be
anything to get excited about," said Keith Bliss, senior
vice-president at Cuttone & Co in New York.
"Yesterday's session was interesting in that it was low
volume and the selloff we had was nothing to get too panicked
S&P 500 futures rose 3.9 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 gained 32
points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 6 points.
Cybersecurity company FireEye Inc has acquired
Mandiant Corp, the computer forensics specialist best known for
unveiling a secretive Chinese military unit believed to be
behind a series of hacking attacks on U.S. companies. FireEye
shares jumped 20.8 percent to $49.67 in premarket trade.
Micron Technology Inc lost 1.8 percent to $21.27
before the opening bell after RBC lowered its rating on the
stock to a "sector perform" from "outperform."
Investors will monitor automakers on Friday as they report
their vehicle sales for December. Chrysler Group LLC reported a
6 percent gain last month in U.S. auto sales, its best December
since 2007, but still narrowly missed analyst expectations. Ford
Motor Co shares gained 1 percent to $15.59 in premarket.
European stocks edged higher, bolstered by a rally in
retailers, but the major indexes remained below recent 5-1/2
year highs as investors locked in profits on a forecast-beating
Asian share markets were under water after a sudden reversal
in some very popular, and thus crowded, trades sparked a bout of
global risk aversion.