* While the S&P 500 remains 0.3 percent away
from a record closing high, further gains may be difficult to
come by following some negative data and comments from St. Louis
Fed President James Bullard, who said interest-rate increases
should come sooner rather than later.
* Ongoing violence in Iraq continues to be a concern for
investors, as prolonged tension in the region could cause a
prolonged spike in crude oil prices and weigh on consumer
* Nike Inc <NKE.N> reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat
expectations on strong sales in North America and Europe, while
DuPont <DD.N> cut its full-year operating profit outlook, citing
weakness in its agriculture and performance chemicals divisions.
* News on both companies, which are Dow components, came after
the market closed on Thursday. Nike rose 3.2 percent to $79.35
in premarket trading.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures <ESc1> fell 4.25 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 e-mini futures <1YMc1>
fell 26 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures <NQc1> lost 5.5
* For the week, the Dow is down 0.6 percent and the S&P is down
0.3 percent. The Nasdaq, which is up 0.3 percent, is on track
for its sixth weekly rise out of the past seven. The CBOE
Volatility index <.VIX> is up 7.2 percent this week.
* Volume may be heavy going into the close on Friday, when
Russell Investments announces the final reconstitution of its
indexes, which will affect more than $5 trillion in assets.
* Market participants are looking ahead to the final read on
June consumer sentiment from the Thomson Reuters/University of
Michigan Surveys of Consumers at 9:55 a.m. EDT, which is seen
rising slightly to 82 from 81.2. The report follows a
weaker-than-expected report on consumer spending earlier this
week, as well as an unexpectedly wide contraction in
first-quarter economic activity.
* In company news, Relational Investors LLC late Thursday
disclosed an 8.52 percent stake in Manitowoc Co Inc <MTW.N> and
said it was embarking on a plan to separate it into two
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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