* Sony jumps after Loeb calls for spinning off entertainment
* Tesla Motors jumps in premarket, extending recent gains
* U.S. shares of Nokia drop after unveiling new phone
* Indexes: Dow up 3 pts, S&P up 1.2 pt, Nasdaq off 0.25 pt
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were poised for a
slightly higher open on Tuesday as investors adjust to slow but
steady growth in the economy, which should keep the market's
upward momentum after the Dow and S&P 500 hit a succession of
The market has been trading sideways over the past three
sessions, showing a gain of 0.07 percent as the winding down of
the quarterly earnings season and a light economic calendar have
left investors without a strong catalyst for further gains.
Still, the S&P is up more than 14 percent so far this year,
propelled by some earnings that beat lowered estimates and the
Federal Reserve's easy monetary policy designed to stimulate the
While some analysts argue the long-term trend remains
positive, many see momentum waning in the near term in the
absence of positive catalysts. Volume has been lighter than
average, and volatility has been low in recent days.
"Earnings season is pretty well done, we don't really have
any big economic points on the horizon," said Peter Jankovskis,
co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in
"We've finally settled in. People realize the world is not
melting down. Growth isn't surging either, but it's growth and
the market is adapting to that."
Wall Street ended little changed on Monday as investors
paused following three weeks of gains, though strong retail
sales data helped to limit losses.
With the S&P 500 at record highs, investors are questioning
whether current levels are justified, given the massive stimulus
by the Fed and the possibility that improvement in economic data
could cause the U.S. central bank to begin curbing its easy
S&P 500 futures rose 1.2 points and were slightly
above 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
3 points and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.25 point.
Economic data showed import prices slipped 0.5 percent last
month due to a drop in oil costs, the biggest decline since
December and matching Wall Street expectations.
In company news, Nokia Corp unveiled a new version
of its Lumia smartphone line, but U.S.-listed shares fell 3.7
percent to $3.70 in premarket trading.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Monday that an Indiana
farmer had violated Monsanto Co's patent for a type of
U.S.-listed shares of Sony Corp jumped 7.7
percent to $20.35 before the opening bell after billionaire
hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb called on the company to spin
off its lucrative entertainment arm.
Tesla Motors extended its meteoric rise following a
gain of 40 percent last week after lifting its sales outlook. It
climbed 6.2 percent to $93.21 before the bell.
Agilent Technologies Inc is the only S&P company
scheduled to report results on Tuesday.
Most corporate earnings have been better than expected this
quarter. With 90 percent of the S&P having reported, 67.2
percent have topped earnings expectations, according to Thomson
Reuters data, which is even with the average over the past four
However, only 46.9 percent have beaten revenue expectations,
below the 52 percent average over the past four quarters.