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US STOCKS-Futures nearly flat with indexes near record levels
August 6, 2013 / 11:26 AM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures nearly flat with indexes near record levels

* Investors looking for catalysts to spur more gains

* Equities coming off lightest full trading day of 2013

* Cognizant Tech rises in premarket trading after results

* Dow up 4 pts, S&P 500 down 2.9 pts, Nasdaq up 2.5 pts

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Aug 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were nearly flat on Tuesday as investors sought new catalysts to extend a recent rally that has taken index to record highs in recent sessions.

* Trading volume has been muted, with Monday marking the lightest full-day action of the year, a sign that market participants are largely holding pat near historic levels.

* Recent market-moving events have moved to the background. The intense investor focus on Federal Reserve policy has receded after last week’s bearish payroll report suggested the Fed would not ease its monetary stimulus soon.

* In addition, the corporate earnings season is winding down. While about 100 S&P 500 components are still scheduled to release results, most of the largest bellwether companies have already reported.

* S&P 500 futures fell 2.9 points 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 added 4 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 2.5 points.

* The S&P 500 has risen for five of the past six weeks, gaining more than 7 percent over that period. The index closed at an all-time high on Friday, as did the Dow. The S&P’s 50-day moving average, currently at 1,692.77, could serve as a support level in any market decline.

* Cognizant Tech rose 3.5 percent to $76 in premarket trading after the company reported a rise of 20 percent in its second-quarter revenue. Archer Daniels Midland also reported results.

* Of the 391 companies in the S&P 500 that reported earnings for the second quarter through Monday, 67.8 percent have topped analysts’ expectations, in line with the average beat over the past four quarters, data from Thomson Reuters showed. About 55 percent have reported revenue above estimates, more than in the past four quarters but below the historical average.

* Shares of the Washington Post Co will be in focus after Amazon Inc founder Jeff Bezos agreed to buy the publishing company’s newspaper assets for $250 million.

* Data on U.S. international trade is due at 8:30 a.m., and the trade gap is seen narrowing to $43.5 billion from $45 billion in the previous month.

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