New York - US stock index futures were lower on Wednesday, as investors struggled to find reasons to keep buying with indexes still hovering near record levels.
Wall Street has been struggling for direction lately; the S&P on Tuesday moved within less than a 7-point range, typical of a recent tight trading pattern.
File image. Credit: THE PHOTO HOLIC
While the upward trend in equities is still considered intact, a lack of major trading events could limit gains after the market's recent rally.
The Dow ended at a fourth straight record Tuesday, while the S&P 500 closed lower after four days of record finishes.
Investors were keeping an eye on low levels of both trading volume and volatility.
The lighter-than-average volume could make the market vulnerable to sharp fluctuations, while some view the low levels of the CBOE Volatility index - the so-called 'fear gauge' - as a sign the market is not fully taking into account issues that could derail the rally.
In a sign of the market's low volatility, the 14-day Average True Range on the S&P 500 hit 10.09, the lowest since February 2013.
S&P 500 futures fell 9.2 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 lost 62 points and Nasdaq 100 futures slid 16.5 points.
In company news, Micron Technology was one of the Nasdaq's most active premarket movers, rising 2.3 percent to $30.20 a day after Credit Suisse raised its price target on the stock to $50 from $30.
Sources told Reuters that Amazon.com Inc later this year plans to launch a marketplace for local services, encompassing anything from babysitters to handymen to birthday clowns, beginning with a single market.
Shares rose 0.5 percent to $334.02 in premarket trading.
Patent risk management company RPX Corp is in advanced talks to acquire litigation data provider PatentFreedom, three sources familiar with the deal told Reuters.
Bloomberg reported that IBM is nearing a deal to sell its chip-making business to contract chipmaker Globalfoundries for an undisclosed amount.
Bank of America has reached an impasse in negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement with the US Department of Justice relating to the bank's mortgage investments, according to the New York Times.
Shares of BofA dipped 8 cents to $15.84 in premarket trading. - Reuters