Stock futures little changed on eve of election

Published November 05, 2012

| Reuters

Stock index futures were little changed on Monday as traders awaited the election for president and members of Congress on Tuesday to place bets on sectors seen performing better under one or the other political party.

Volume was relatively low as President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney sprinted through swing states on the last day of the race for the White House.

The Institute for Supply Management will release its October nonmanufacturing index at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT). Economists forecast a reading of 54.5 versus 55.1 in September.

S&P 500 futures fell 1 point and were below 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 rose 9 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 2 points.

Transocean Ltd reported a higher-than-expected adjusted profit for the third quarter and its shares were up 2 percent at $47 in premarket trading.

Companies announcing results include health insurer Humana and exchange operator IntercontinentalExchange .

Leading world economies pressed the United States on Sunday to act decisively to avert a rush of spending cuts and tax hikes, warning that the so-called fiscal cliff is the biggest short-term threat to global growth.

European stocks fell 0.6 percent as investors opted for safe havens ahead of the U.S. vote.

A private survey of China's growing services sector slipped in October, with weaker-than-expected new orders injecting a note of caution after three previous PMI surveys for October showed the world's second-largest economy regaining momentum.

Greece's government will present a new austerity package to parliament on Monday, facing a week of strikes and protests over proposals which must win deputies' approval if the country is to secure more aid and stave off bankruptcy.

Stocks ended a shortened trading week caused by Hurricane Sandy with a selloff on Friday, and major indexes erased early gains sparked by a stronger-than-expected payrolls report.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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