US futures flat after five-days of gains

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WallStreet1234 Reuters. A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York.

New York - US stock index futures were little changed on Friday, on the heels of a five-day rally in the S&P 500 that sent the benchmark index to its latest record high, putting it on track for its fourth weekly gain in the last five.

* Investors may see a spike of volume and volatility at the open and towards the closing bell as Friday marks a “quadruple witching” day - the expiration of stock options, index options, index futures and single-stock futures - as traders close hedging positions or roll them over at the last minute.

* Oracle Corp shares were down 5.5 percent to $40.19 before the opening bell after it posted fourth-quarter results that disappointed investors looking for more progress against rivals selling web-based services.

* Five days of gains in the benchmark S&P index marked its longest winning streak since mid-April.

For the week, the index is up 1.2 percent, while the Dow is up 0.9 percent and the Nasdaq has gained 1.1 percent.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.5 point and fair value - a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract - indicated a flat open.

Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures rose 3 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 1.75 points.

* Darden Restaurants lost 2.5 percent to $48.30 in light premarket trade after the chain restaurant operator reported fourth-quarter earnings.

* Midstream energy company Targa Resources said it was no longer in discussions with Energy Transfer Equity LP, the pipeline company controlled by billionaire Kelcy Warren, regarding a deal.

* US-listed shares of Shire jumped 13.6 percent to $217.82 in premarket trading after it rejected a 27 billion-pound ($46 billion) takeover offer from US rival AbbVie, the latest attempt by a US healthcare firm to tap into the London-listed group's low tax rate.

* The rally in Shire helped European bourses hold on to gains.

* Japan's Nikkei ended slightly lower after touching a fresh five-month peak, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ran out of steam, easing 0.4 percent on losses in South Korea and China. - Reuters



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