Stock futures dip after strong run for stocks

By @ibtimes on

U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Monday after Wall Street posted two straight weeks of gains that drove indexes to new multi-year highs and investors worried the market is overextended.

The S&P 500 has gained nearly 13 percent since the start of a rally in December and had a firm finish on Friday after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation fueled buying interest after weeks of protests.

There is nothing out that's making the market particularly nervous. It really falls into the buyer's exhaustion (category), said Oliver Pursche, president at Gary Goldberg Financial Services in Suffern, New York.

Pursche said as a generally strong earnings season winds down, investors will again focus on economic fundamentals and the timing of potential interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

S&P 500 futures fell 0.5 point and were just below 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 3 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 0.5 point.

U.S. President Barack Obama will formally propose a budget on Monday that would cut the U.S. deficit by $1.1 trillion over 10 years, setting the stage for a bitter fight with Republicans, who want even tougher spending controls.

Overnight in Asia, China's trade surplus fell to its lowest level in nine months in January as imports surged, helping to lift Asian markets and sending European commodity stocks higher.

London copper rallied early Monday, while in Shanghai the metal rose 1 percent after a surprise jump in Chinese copper imports and hopes of continued restocking by the world's top metals consumer.

In European equity markets, the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> rose 0.4 percent to a 29-month high early Monday on the Chinese data, with mining stocks among the top gainers.

U.S. oil prices were little changed to $85.56 a barrel after sinking to a 10-week low last week as tension in the Middle East region eased following Mubarak's resignation.

General Electric Co , plans to buy the well support division of British energy services firm John Wood Group Plc for about $2.8 billion in the latest move by a largest U.S. conglomerate to boost its presence in oil services.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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