Stock futures flat, Caterpillar on tap to report
By Ryan Vlastelica | January 28, 2013 11:28 PM EST
Stock index futures were little changed on Monday, with investors reluctant to make big bets following a rally that took the S&P 500 above 1,500 for the first time in more than five years.
A strong start to the earnings season has boosted equities, with major averages rising for four straight weeks. The S&P has gained for eight straight days, its longest winning streak in eight years.
Over the past four weeks, the S&P has jumped 7.2 percent, suggesting markets may be vulnerable to a pullback if news disappoints.
Earnings will continue to be a primary focus, with Caterpillar Inc
Thomson Reuters data through Friday showed that of the 147 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 68 percent exceeded expectations. Since 1994, 62 percent of companies have topped expectations, while the average over the past four quarters stands at 65 percent.
S&P 500 futures rose 0.8 point and but were slightly below 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 7 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.2 point.
The S&P 500 closed at its highest since December 10, 2007, and the Dow ended at its highest since October 31, 2007.
Investors will also be looking to durable goods orders and pending home sales, both for December. Durable goods are due at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) and are seen rising 1.8 percent. Pending home sales are seen rising 0.3 percent.
Last week, sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell in December but rose in 2012 to the highest level since 2009, a sign the U.S. housing market turned a corner last year.
Bargain hunters may look to Apple Inc for a bargain the first session after the tech giant lost its coveted title as the largest U.S. company by market capitalization to Exxon Mobil Corp
U.S. stocks rose on Friday, lifted by strong results from such companies as Procter & Gamble
(Editing by W Simon)
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