May 31, 2017 / 11:29 AM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Futures little changed as investors seek fresh catalysts

* Futures up: Dow 19 pts, S&P 2.75 pts, Nasdaq 13.25 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

May 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday, pressured by weak oil prices, with investors looking for fresh catalysts to trade on.

* All three major Wall Street indexes, however, are poised to post gains for the month of May. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite look set to post their best monthly percentage gain since February.

* Oil prices fell by more than 2 percent as rising Libyan production fueled concerns that OPEC-led output cuts are being undermined by several countries that are excluded from the deal.

* U.S. stocks inched lower on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq breaking their seven-day winning streak, as weakness in the energy and financial sectors outweighed gains in technology shares.

* With stocks at record levels and the earnings season in the rear view mirror, analysts say investors need to see strong economic data and progress on President Trump’s pro-business policies for further meaningful gains.

* While first-quarter economic data was mixed, with dips in consumer spending and sentiment, continuing strength in the labor market suggests activity will regain momentum as the year progresses.

* The Federal Reserve issues its Beige Book at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), a compendium of anecdotes on the health of the economy, that will likely provide further evidence that the economy continues to strengthen giving the Fed impetus to raise rate next month.

* Traders currently see an 86.6-percent chance of a quarter-point rate hike by the Fed at its June meeting, according to Thomson Reuters data.

* The National Association of Realtors’ report is likely to show that pending home sales for April increased 0.5 percent, while the ISM’s Chicago PMI reading for May is expected to slightly dip to 57.0.

* Shares of Mallinckrodt were up 1.4 percent at $44.26 in premarket trading, after sources said the drugmaker is exploring a sale of its generic drug unit, in a deal that could fetch as much as $2 billion.

* Michael Kors fell 5.4 percent to $34.30 after the affordable luxury goods maker said it expects comparable sales to fall.

* Exact Sciences was up 11.7 percent at $36.48 after two brokerages raised their price target on the diagnostic test maker’s shares.

Futures snapshot at 7:03 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 19 points, or 0.09 percent, with 14,389 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 2.75 points, or 0.11 percent, with 80,686 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 13.25 points, or 0.23 percent, on volume of 15,740 contracts. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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