April 1st, 2013

S&P 500 Futures – The advance that pushed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) to a record left companies trading closer to analyst price estimates than any time in at least seven years.

Shares in the index are 5 percent away from analysts’ mean forecasts after the benchmark gauge rallied 10 percent in the first quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg starting in 2006. That’s the smallest difference ever for the median stock and compares with the historical average of 14 percent.

Bulls say the narrowing spread shows securities firms were caught off guard by the rally and that equities will climb as they boost predictions. Bears say the slowness of analysts to respond means stocks have gotten so far ahead of themselves that even market optimists are uncomfortable with the increase, which has added more than $10 trillion to values since 2009.

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March 27th, 2013

S&P 500 Futures – U.S. stocks declined, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index yesterday approached a record high, as concern over Europe’s debt crisis intensified and pending American home sales slipped in February.

Banks retreated as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. fell at least 0.9 percent. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. tumbled 13 percent after Morgan Stanley downgraded the shares. Dollar General Corp. (DG) slumped 2 percent after it said 30 million shares will be sold in a secondary offering. Mattress Firm Holding Corp. rallied 9.4 percent after Raymond James & Associates Inc. raised its rating on the retailer.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.4 percent to 1,557.99 at 11:03 a.m. in New York. The equity benchmark rallied 0.8 percent yesterday as orders for durable goods and home prices exceeded estimates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 55.70 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,503.95 today. Trading among S&P 500 shares was 17 percent below the 30-day average.

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December 31st, 2012

Mini S&P Futures – U.S. stocks rose, after the biggest weekly drop for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in about two months, amid speculation Congress will reach a deal to head off more than $600 million in spending cuts and tax increases.

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Caterpillar Inc. jumped more than 1.2 percent. Investors bought shares of companies most tied to economic growth, sending technology and material shares higher by at least 0.6 percent. Facebook Inc. climbed 2.3 percent after Bank of Montreal raised its rating on the company to outperform from underperform.

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November 19th, 2012

S&P 500 Futures – U.S. stocks rose, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its biggest advance in two months, amid better-than-forecast housing data and as President Barack Obama expressed confidence on a budget agreement with Congress.

A measure of homebuilders in S&P indexes jumped 0.7 percent. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) and Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) rallied more than 1 percent to pace gains in commodity producers amid Middle East tension. Cisco (CSCO) Systems Inc. increased 1.5 percent as it agreed to buy closely held Meraki Inc. for $1.2 billion. Lowe’s Cos. (L) surged 6.3 percent after the home- improvement retailer posted profit that beat estimates. Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) added at least 1.5 percent.

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July 26th, 2012

S&P 500 Futures – U.S. stocks rose, snapping a four- day drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledged to defend the euro.

3M Co. (V), the maker of Post-It Notes, and Visa Inc., the world’s largest payments network, added at least 2 percent on better-than-estimated earnings. PulteGroup Inc. (PHM), the largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, surged 17 percent amid a jump in orders. Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) and MetroPCS Communications Inc. soared at least 19 percent after their results. Facebook Inc. (FB) slumped 6.6 percent ahead of its quarterly numbers.

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