* Dow, S&P coming off all-time closing highs
* Investors looking for next market catalyst
* Oil rises modestly, Middle East supply in focus
* Dow down 1 pt, S&P down 0.1 pt, Nasdaq up 2 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, May 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed
to a flat open on Monday as investors paused after stocks hit
record highs last week, with the S&P 500 up more than 13 percent
so far this year.
Stocks were lifted on Friday by surprisingly strong jobs
data and have been sustained by some strong corporate earnings
and accommodating monetary policies that have kept interest
But with those factors largely priced into the market, many
investors are looking for the next catalyst to take shares
"There's such an absence of economic data and news that it
looks like it is going to be a boring day, which is fine after
Friday," said Oliver Pursche, president of Gary Goldberg
Financial Services in Suffern, New York.
"We're flat right now, but markets in general want to go
higher since central bank action is trumping everything."
Many analysts say they expect a correction by stocks, which
markets have largely avoided this year because traders use any
weakness as an opportunity to add to positions.
A string of weak economic data has recently underlined
concerns over the global growth outlook, though Friday's report
on April U.S. non-farm payrolls was stronger than expected and
fueled the gains that took the indexes to record levels.
S&P 500 futures dipped 0.1 point and were slightly
under 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 slid 1
point and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 2 points.
Overseas, European shares dipped 0.2 percent as
investors took profits following a rally in the previous week.
Volumes were light as London markets closed for a holiday.
Brent crude rose 0.2 percent after an Israeli air
strike on a Syrian military facility refocused attention on
Middle East supply risks.
"The strike has revived a lot of potential pressure, but
right now it is a positive that Iran or other countries in the
region didn't make a big stink about it," said Pursche.
"Commodities seem to be back in a trading range."
Tyson Foods Inc reported a steep drop in its
second-quarter earnings, hurt as customers switched to chicken
from beef products to save money, though sales rose 2 percent.
Of the 404 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported
earnings so far, 68.3 percent have beaten earnings expectations,
according to Thomson Reuters data, though only 46.3 percent have
reported revenue above expectations. Over the past four
quarters, 67 percent of companies beat on earnings and 52
percent beat revenue estimates.
BMC Software Inc rose 0.2 percent to $45.50 in
premarket trading after two sources told Reuters that a private
equity group made up of Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital
Corp were nearing a deal to buy the company for about $46 per
Warren Buffett, the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway
, said on CNBC the U.S. economy was gradually getting
better, aided by improvements in sectors like homebuilding.
On Friday the S&P closed above 1,600 and the Dow briefly
traded above 15,000 for the first time ever, with a number of
bellwether companies hitting 52-week highs. For the week, the
Dow rose 1.8 percent, the S&P gained 2 percent and the Nasdaq
rose 3 percent in its biggest weekly climb since the first week
of the year.