US STOCKS-Futures tick up as strong 2014 draws to a close

miércoles 31 de diciembre de 2014 08:28 GYT

* Trading expected to be light in final day of the year

* Energy could be in focus as crude oil continues to weaken

* Investors looking to jobless claims data, pending home sales

* Futures up: Dow 8 pts, S&P 2.5 pts, Nasdaq 2.5 pts

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Dec 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Wednesday, suggesting Wall Street would end a strong year with minor gains, though the seasonal trend of modest moves and low volume looked set to continue.

* While some traders are out on holiday and others are waiting until 2015 to make major position changes, energy shares will likely be in focus on an otherwise quiet day as crude oil prices around 2 percent.

* Oil prices have been pressured this year by weakening demand and a supply glut. Down about 46 percent for the year, oil prices are on track for their biggest annual decline since 2008, hovering around their lowest levels since May 2009.

* The S&P Energy index is the year's worst-performing sector by far, down 9.3 percent. The only other sector in negative territory is telecom, down 0.7 percent. The year's top performers are utilities, up 26.6 percent, followed by the jump of 24.5 percent in health care.   Continuación...