* Dow closes above 15,000 for first time, S&P also at record
* Disney profit beats expectations, Whole Foods ups outlook
* Futures: Dow down 4 pts, S&P down 1.3 pt, Nasdaq up 1.25
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed
to a flat open on Wednesday as investors found little reason to
push shares decisively one way or the other, following gains
that took indexes to fresh highs a day earlier.
Futures trading had similarly indicated days of limited
movement on Monday and Tuesday, though shares ended higher on
both days. The S&P has now risen for four straight sessions, up
2.7 percent over that period, and up more than 14 percent thus
far in 2013.
While the market continues to trend upward, with analysts
citing the attractive valuation of equities relative to other
assets, the magnitude and speed of the rally has spurred
expectations of a pullback. Wall Street hasn't undergone a
sustained decline this year as investors buy on market declines.
"There's room for slight gains from here, maybe another
percent or two higher, but even though a lot of people are still
not in the market, we think investors will want to take profits
soon," said Adam Hewison, chief executive at INO Inc in
Annapolis, Maryland. "We're very close to an interim top."
S&P 500 futures fell 1.3 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 dipped
4 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.25 point.
The Dow closed above 15,000 for the first time on Tuesday
and the S&P 500 ended at another record high. Both indexes hit
all-time intraday highs during the session.
The U.S. stock market's gains this year have come on strong
corporate results and accommodative monetary policies from the
Federal Reserve. Recently, growth-orientated sectors like energy
have led the way higher.
"We're closely watching energy, which could outperform as
oil could potentially rise to $110 on signs that the economy is
getting better or on any supply disruption from the Middle
East," said Hewison.
Crude rose 0.1 percent to $95.71 per barrel on
Dow component Walt Disney Co reported earnings late
Tuesday that beat expectations and revenue that was up 10
percent, while Whole Foods Market Inc reported a rebound
in same-store sales and raised its full-year profit view.
Shares of Disney dipped 0.3 percent to $65.90 in premarket
trading while Whole Foods advanced 8 percent to $100.25.
J.C. Penney Co Inc reported another quarter of steep
sales declines, though investors were cheered that the troubled
department store posted cash levels that implied it had gone
through less money than feared. The stock rose 2.4 percent to
$16.80 in premarket trading but is down 17 percent so far this
AOL Inc fell 5.3 percent to $39.22 in premarket
trading after reporting earnings that missed expectations,
though revenue rose more than anticipated.
Earnings have largely been better than expected this
quarter, with about 68.5 percent of S&P 500 companies surpassing
estimates so far. At the same time, revenues have been
European shares rose, with mining stocks among the
day's strongest as strong Chinese trade data indicated a better
outlook for one of the world's largest economies.