US STOCKS-Futures flat a day after Dow hits record close

by Reuters
Thursday, 1 May 2014 11:51 GMT

* Yelp shares up in premarket as revenue jumps

* AT&T approached DirecTV about possible acquisition: WSJ

* Data on jobless claims and manufacturing on tap

* Futures up: Dow 11 pts, S&P 0.2 pt, Nasdaq 9.75 pts

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, May 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday as investors paused following a rally in the previous session that took the Dow to its first record close of 2014.

* Thursday's gains came as the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat view of the economy's prospects after its policymaking meeting, though concerns remained, including a read on first-quarter economic growth that was weaker than expected.

* Traders also continued to take their cue from corporate earnings. Health insurer Cigna Corp reported first-quarter earnings that beat expectations, following similarly positive results from competitors WellPoint Inc and Aetna Inc. Textron Inc's earnings fell from the prior year while revenue was nearly flat.

* Late Wednesday, Yelp Inc reported a 66 percent rise in quarterly revenue. Shares jumped 10 percent to $63.90 in premarket trading.

* Yelp's results were a positive report for Internet names, which have slumped recently on concerns that they, along with biotech "momentum" names, were overvalued. Those losses contributed to the Nasdaq's 2 percent decline in April, while the Dow rose 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.6 percent.

* S&P 500 futures rose 0.2 point and were about even with 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 11 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 9.75 points.

* Several economic indicators will be released on Thursday, including weekly jobless claims and March personal income and spending data, all at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT) Construction spending and the Institute for Supply Management's April read on manufacturing are on tap for release at 10:00 a.m.

* Construction spending is seen rising 0.5 percent in March while manufacturing is expected to rise modestly from the prior month. Jobless claims are seen falling by 10,000, which could raise optimism about Friday's closely watched payroll report.

* The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the situation, reported that AT&T Inc had approached DirecTV about a possible acquisition. A deal would likely be worth at least $40 billion, it wrote. Shares of DirecTV rose 8.3 percent to $84.01 in light premarket trading.

* Wall Street closed mostly higher on Wednesday, lifted by the Fed's statements on the economy. The central bank also said it would reduce its monthly bond purchases to $45 billion from $55 billion, as expected. That will keep it on track to end the program as soon as October. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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