US futures dip

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WallStreet1234 REUTERS The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet.

New York - US stock index futures were a touch lower on Tuesday as traders found few reasons to buy with major indexes at record levels, though the market's recent upward momentum appeared intact.

* Both the Dow and S&P 500 closed at records on Monday; that was the benchmark S&P's third consecutive record.

However, recent gains have come in light trading, indicating the rally has lacked conviction.

About 60,000 S&P 500 e-minis contracts changed hands in morning trading on Tuesday, suggesting another day of light action.

* The CBOE Volatility Index has also been lower than average, hovering near levels not seen since March 2013.

While the current levels of the VIX indicates a lack of fear in the market, some investors are concerned it also reflects a sense of complacency among investors.

* Trading catalysts could come later in the session, with the release of data on durable goods and factory orders, both for April and scheduled for release at 10:00 a.m. (16:00 SA time).

Factory orders are seen rising 0.5 percent in the month, a smaller advance than in March.

The Institute for Supply Management's May read on New York economic activity is also on tap, due at 9:45 a.m.

* S&P 500 futures fell 3 points and were above 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 slid 2 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 6.5 points.

* Pilgrim's Pride Corp confirmed a revised proposal to buy Hillshire Brands for $55 a share, an offer that values the company at $7.7 billion.

Last week, Tyson Foods Inc offered to buy Hillshire for $6.3 billion.

Hillshire said it would conduct talks with both parties. Its stock rose 8.4 percent to $58.05 before the bell.

* Element Financial Corp late Monday agreed to buy PHH Corp's auto fleet leasing business for about $1.4 billion in cash.

* Gladstone Commercial Corp was one of the premarket session's most active Nasdaq names, falling 3 percent to $17 after the company announced a common stock offering of an undisclosed size.

Spherix Inc rose 17 percent to $2.11 in heavy trading after the company announced $20 million in equity financing. - Reuters

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