emini s&p 500 futures

S&P 500 sets record

May 9th, 2013

S&P Futures – U.S. stock futures were little changed after the country’s benchmark equity gauges climbed to successive record levels.

News Corp. advanced 2.9 percent in Australian trading after the company posted third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Groupon Inc. (GRPN) surged 12 percent after first-quarter sales exceeded estimates. Activision Blizzard Inc. dropped 6.5 percent in German trading after the largest video-game maker in the U.S. said it remained cautious for the second half.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) futures retreated 0.1 percent to 1,627 at 7:24 a.m. in New York after the benchmark measure set a record level yesterday for a fifth consecutive trading day. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 9 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,053 today.

“The risk of a melt-up in stocks is high and rising,” Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at Bank of America Corp., wrote in a report to clients titled ‘Raging Bull’ today. “Positioning, price action, policy and a range-bound economy can conspire to cause an overshoot.”

U.S. stocks rallied yesterday, extending the Dow’s advance above 15,000, as companies forecast earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. The S&P 500 has surged 14 percent so far this year amid optimism central banks will continue to use stimulus to support economic growth. The equity benchmark has entered the fifth year of a bull market, fueled by three rounds of bond purchases from the Federal Reserve.

S&P Futures: Asset Purchases

In Europe, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee today left its bond-purchase program unchanged at 375 billion pounds ($584 billion), in line with all but one of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The bank also kept its key interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percent.

In Asia, the Bank of Korea cut its interest rates today. Governor Kim Choong Soo and his board lowered their benchmark seven-day repurchase rate to 2.5 percent from 2.75 percent.

About 72 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have released results since the start of the earnings season have exceeded profit projections, while 52 percent have missed sales estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Dean Foods Co. and Priceline.com Inc. are among 11 S&P 500 companies reporting earnings today.

News Corp. (NWSA) gained 2.9 percent to A$32.47 in Australia after the Rupert Murdoch-led media company tripled net income to $2.85 billion in its third quarter. Profit excluding some items of 36 cents a share beat the 35-cent average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

S&P Futures: Groupon Rallies

Groupon surged 12 percent to $6.26 in early New York trading. The daily-deals website posted first-quarter revenue of $601.4 million, exceeding estimates as sales through its mobile applications increased. Analysts had projected $591 million.

The company’s net loss narrowed to $3.99 million, or 1 cent a share, from $11.7 million, or 2 cents, a year earlier. Analysts had predicted a loss of 2 cents.

Activision dropped 6.5 percent to $14.26 in Germany as Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick said “the risks and uncertainties in the back half of 2013 are more challenging than our earlier view, especially in the holiday quarter.”

The publisher of “Call of Duty” still reported first-quarter profit excluding some items of 17 cents a share, beating analysts’ estimates.

- Sarah Jones in London at Bloomberg.