December 21, 2016 / 1:55 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Dow still flirting with elusive 20,000 mark

* Dow closes 25 points shy of 20,000 mark on Tuesday

* Nike higher as quarterly results beat estimates

* FedEx down after results fall below expectations

* Futures: Dow up 15 pts, S&P down 0.75 pts, Nasdaq down 0.75 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

Dec 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks looked set to open little changed on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average still flirting with the elusive 20,000 mark, a day after both it and the Nasdaq Composite hit record highs.

The Dow, first calculated in 1896, closed on Tuesday at a record high for the 17th time since the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election and just 25 points shy of 20,000, a level it has never reached.

The blue-chip index has been threatening to breach the historic mark for the last several days, but has failed to do so.

U.S. stocks have been roaring ahead since the election, with the Dow up 9 percent and the S&P 500 6 percent on bets that President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for deregulation and infrastructure spending will boost the economy.

“We’re looking at a relatively quiet morning as investors wind down ahead of the holiday weekend,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“The market has been rallying since the election and these minor pauses are welcome and necessary as traders take some profit.”

Still, there are concerns that the recent rally has made stocks too expensive. The S&P 500 is trading at about 17 times expected 12-month earnings, well above the 10-year average of 14, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.

Volumes have been muted in the last full week of trading before the year-end holiday season, subjecting the market to pronounced movements amid a lack of any major economic data.

Dow e-minis were up 15 points, or 0.08 percent, with 13,095 contracts changing hands at 8:11 a.m. ET (1311 GMT).

S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.75 points, or 0.03 percent, with 54,982 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 0.75 points, or 0.02 percent, on volume of 8,765 contracts.

Oil edged up, driven by expectations for a decline in U.S. crude inventories and bringing price gains for December to 10 percent.

Scheduled economic data includes existing home sales for November, which likely dropped 1 percent to an annual rate of 5.5 million. The data is expected at 10 a.m. ET.

Nike shares rose 2.9 percent to $53.30 in premarket trading, a day after the world’s largest footwear maker reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.

FedEx fell 2.4 percent to $193.88 after the package delivery company’s quarterly results missed expectations.

Accenture fell 2.5 percent to $121, after the consulting and outsourcing software services provider’s revenue forecast missed estimates.

Chipmaker InvenSense jumped 16.9 percent to $12.68 after people familiar with the matter told Reuters that Japanese electronic parts maker TDK Corp is in talks to buy the company. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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