Wall Street set to open flat with S&P 500 near record high

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By Rodrigo Campos | February 12, 2013 1:14 AM EST

Stocks were set to open little changed on Monday as investor scrambled to find catalysts for trading, while low volume could make trading volatile and exaggerate moves.

Upbeat U.S. and Chinese data last week helped extend the winning streak of the S&P 500 index to six weeks. The benchmark is up 6.4 percent so far this year after a steep rally in January that has stalled as the S&P and Dow industrials near record highs.

No economic data or major earnings reports are scheduled, but Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen is due to speak about the economic recovery at 1 p.m.

Technical indicators are "looking very good" and could give the market a floor Monday, according to Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.

He said the market will pay attention to Yellen's speech, but he doesn't expect any deviation from her traditionally dovish monetary policy stance.

S&P 500 futures rose 0.6 point but were slightly 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 rose 29 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 1.6 points.

Google shares dipped 0.8 percent in premarket trading after it said in a filing former chief executive Eric Schmidt is selling roughly 42 percent of his stake in the Internet search company, a move that could potentially net him $2.51 billion.

Celgene Corp shares rose 1.7 percent in premarket trading to $101.80 after U.S. regulators approved its new drug for patients with multiple myeloma whose condition worsened after being treated with other cancer drugs.

US Airways shares gained 2 percent to $15.04 as people familiar with the matter said an $11 billion merger with AMR Corp appeared closer. The deal would create the world's largest airline by passenger traffic.

Opposition grew to the $24.4 billion buyout of Dell Inc , the No. 3 personal computer maker, as three of the largest investors joined Southeastern Asset Management on Friday in raising objections. Dell said in a regulatory filing it had considered many strategic options before opting to go private in a buyout led by Chief Executive Michael Dell.

Loews Corp could be hit after the hotels, energy and financial services conglomerate reported a fourth-quarter loss. CNA Financial Corp , its largest holding, suffered losses linked to superstorm Sandy.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Kenneth Barry)

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