US STOCKS-Futures point to slight losses at the open
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK Nov 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to slight losses at the open on Monday, with investors taking a pause following a sharp rally on Friday that took the Dow and S&P 500 to record levels.
Equities have been strong of late, with the Dow last week posting its biggest weekly gain since January 2013 and the S&P coming off its biggest two-week jump since December 2011. The Nasdaq closed at its highest since March 2000.
The gains have largely come on the back of strong quarterly results, which have eased concerns over how corporations are faring in an uncertain growth environment. In addition, a surprise move by the Bank of Japan to ramp up its stimulus fueled Friday's gains.
More stimulus globally could help the outlook for stocks, especially if the U.S. economy keeps improving and earnings continue to grow. However, the recent rally in equities was preceded by a decline that nearly took the S&P into correction territory, defined as a 10 percent drop from a peak. That selloff came on concerns about the global economy as well as the spread of Ebola.
While the market's momentum is to the upside, near-term trading may be quieter as earnings season draws to a close. With results in from 70 percent of companies, 75.8 percent reported earnings above analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, well above the long-term average of 63 percent.
In deal news, Sapient Corp rose 42 percent to $24.66 and was among the most actively traded Nasdaq names of the premarket session after Publicis agreed to buy the digital ad company for $3.7 billion in cash. Sapient is on track for one of the biggest one-day jumps in its history, extending a seven-session rally that has taken it up 23 percent.
Covance Inc jumped 28 percent to $102.13 after Laboratory Corp of America Holdings agreed to buy the company for $6.1 billion.
Investors are looking ahead to a round of economic data, all released after the market opens. Both construction spending and the Institute for Supply Management's read on manufacturing are due at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT). Spending is seen up by 0.7 percent in September, while the ISM report is seen dipping to 56.2 in October from 56.6. Continuación...