Stock futures edge lower with indexes at records

By Reuters

Nov 03, 2014 07:51 AM EST

U.S. stock index futures ticked lower on Monday, with investors taking a pause following a sharp rally on Friday that took the Dow and S&P 500 to record levels.

Equities have been strong of late, with the Dow last week posting its biggest weekly gain since January 2013 and the S&P coming off its biggest two-week jump since December 2011. The Nasdaq closed at its highest since March 2000.

The gains have largely come on the back of strong quarterly results, which have eased concerns over how corporations are faring in an uncertain growth environment. In addition, a surprise move by the Bank of Japan to ramp up its stimulus fueled Friday's gains.

More stimulus globally could help the outlook for stocks, especially if the U.S. economy keeps improving and earningscontinue to grow. However, the recent rally in equities was preceded by a decline that nearly took the S&P into correction territory, which is defined as a 10 percent drop from a peak. That selloff came on concerns about the global economy, as well as the spread of Ebola.

While the market's momentum is to the upside, near-term trading may be quieter as earnings season draws to a close. With results in from 70 percent of companies, 75.8 percent are reporting earnings above analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, well above the long-term average of 63 percent.

Investors are looking ahead to a round of economic data, all of which will be released after the market opens. Both construction spending and the Institute for Supply Management's read on manufacturing are due at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT). Spending is seen up by 0.7 percent in September, while the ISM report is seen dipping to 56.2 in October from 56.6.

Separately, Markit's final read on October manufacturing is due at 9:45 a.m. The preliminary reading showed the lowest rate of growth since July.

Futures snapshot at 6:43:

S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were falling 2 points, or 0.1 percent, with 92,284 contracts changing hands.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 3.5 points, or 0.08 percent, in volume of 12,336 contracts.

* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 25 points, or 0.14 percent, with 11,149 contracts changing hands.

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