futures flat with Dow, S&P at record levels
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[June 02, 2014] By
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S.
stock index futures were little changed on Monday, with
investors finding few reasons to keep pushing shares
higher with the Dow and S&P 500 at record levels.
* Equities have been strong performers lately, with the Dow and S&P
ending their fourth straight monthly rise in May and the Nasdaq up
for its third straight week last week. However, those gains have
recently come on anemic volume, a trend that looks to continue
Monday, suggesting the rise lacks conviction.
* Wall Street investors continue to closely watch U.S. Treasury
yields. The 10-year note's yield remains below 2.5 percent, near an
11-month low hit during Thursday's session. Low yields could help
boost dividend-paying stocks, including in the telecom and utility
* The CBOE Volatility index continues to hover around lows not seen
since March 2013. That the so-called "fear index" is so low has
many, including officials at the Federal Reserve, concerned the
market is complacent.
* S&P 500 futures rose 1.2 point 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 16 points and Nasdaq 100 futures
rose 4 points.* Roughly 72,500 S&P 500 e-mini contracts traded as of
7:00 a.m. (1100 GMT), suggesting limited action on Monday. Trading
may be light until the European Central Bank's June 5 meeting. Many
investors anticipate the ECB will announce a loosening of monetary
policy at the meeting.
* Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc was the Nasdaq's most active premarket
mover, jumping 17 percent to $7.55 on heavy volume a day after
saying its drug ponatinib showed anti-tumor activity in patients
with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
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* Pharmacyclics Inc rose 7.1 percent to $95.10 in light premarket
trading after late-stage study findings showed that its drug
Ibrutinib, which treats the most common form of leukemia in adults,
improved survival for patients whose disease had worsened despite
standard treatment. Pharmacyclics sells the drug with Johnson &
* In deal news, Japanese insurer Dai-ichi Life Co is in advanced
talks to buy Protective Life Corp in a deal that could be worth over
$5 billion. Late Friday, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc
said it would boost its takeover bid for Allergan Inc for the second
time in a week, lifting it to $53.8 billion from $49.9 billion.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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