U.S. stocks were set to dip on Monday after posting two straight weeks of gains that drove indexes to new multi-year highs and some investors worried the market was 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.
John Brady, senior vice president at MF Global in Chicago, said the market is still strong with technical indicators and capital inflows supporting the outlook.
Technically the market is still trading very strong, the equity market specifically, he said. They continue to trade in a bull channel that goes back to late August.
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 and potentially boosting U.S. natural resource shares.
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc
S&P 500 futures fell 1.9 points 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 0.75 point.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
General Electric Co
There is nothing out that's making the market particularly nervous, it really falls into the buyers exhaustion (category), said Oliver Pursche, president at Gary Goldberg Financial Services in Suffern, New York.
London copper rallied near all-time peaks 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 0.3 percent to a 29-month high early Monday on the Chinese data, with mining stocks among the top gainers.
The White House released many of the details of U.S. President Barack Obama's proposed budget early Monday, including cutting the deficit by $1.1 trillion over 10 years and setting the stage for a bitter fight with Republicans, who want even more cuts. The budget document will be formally unveiled later in the morning.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)