* Dow, S&P coming off all-time closing highs
* Investors looking for next market catalyst
* BofA and Apple rally; Humana jumps after upgrade
* Dow down 0.2 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.1 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, May 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were flat on Monday
as investors paused following a sharp rally that took major
averages to record highs last week.
Equities have been strong so far this year, with the S&P 500
up more than 13 percent in 2013 on the back of strong corporate
earnings and accommodating monetary policies that have kept
interest rates low.
But with those factors largely priced into the market, many
investors are looking for the next catalyst to take shares
higher. Many analysts expect a correction, which markets have
largely avoided this year as traders use weakness as an
opportunity to add to positions.
"Everyone is settling in for the moment. We had a nice week
last week and there are no real catalysts to move us
significantly one way or the other today," said Mark Martiak,
senior wealth strategist at Premier/First Allied Securities in
Weak economic data has recently underlined concerns over the
global growth outlook, though Friday's payroll report was
stronger than expected and fueled the gains that took the
indexes to record levels.
A number of bellwether names rallied on Monday, with Bank of
America Corp up 2.1 percent to $12.50 and Apple Inc
up 2.2 percent to $459.75. Humana Inc jumped
3.4 percent to $76.45 as the S&P 500's top gainer after JPMorgan
upgraded the stock to "overweight."
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 30.41
points, or 0.20 percent, at 14,943.55. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 0.07 points, or 0.00 percent, at 1,614.35.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 4.74 points, or 0.14
percent, at 3,383.37.
BMC Software Inc agreed to be acquired by a private
equity group led by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital Corp
for about $6.9 billion. Shares dipped 0.3 percent to $45.27.
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.
Crude oil fell 0.4 percent after rising earlier, as
investors bet that an Israeli air strike on a Syrian military
facility would not have a major impact on Middle East oil
Tyson Foods Inc reported a steep drop in its
second-quarter earnings, hurt as customers switched to chicken
from beef to save money. The stock dropped 4.3 percent to
$23.86, the biggest percentage decliner on the S&P 500.
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.
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.