Stocks Seen Pausing at Record Highs

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U.S. stock-index futures were little changed on Monday as upbeat news from China balanced disappointing European data.

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Today's Markets

As of 7:50 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were flat at 16858, S&P 500 futures advanced 1 point, or 0.06%, to 1954 and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 3.5 points, or 0.09%, to 3790.

The Dow and broader S&P 500 hit new highs last week, as the quiet rally this year marched on. As is a seasonal trend, volume has been low as summer kicks off.

Data released late Sunday showed China's vast manufacturing sector expanded for the first time in six months. HSBC's purchasing managers index jumped to 50.8 in June from 49.4 the month prior.

"The improvement was broad based with both domestic orders and external demand sub-indices in expansionary territory," the bank's chief China economist, Hongbin Qu, said in the report. "This month's improvement is consistent with data suggesting that the authorities' mini-stimulus are filtering through to the real economy."

However, Markit's reading on private-sector activity in the eurozone registered its lowest level in six months in June. The manufacturing component was at a seven-month low, while service-sector activity came in at a three-month low. Still, the fall was largely caused by a slight slowdown in German growth and a deepening of France's slowdown.

"Hopefully the recent stimulus measures from the ECB will help revive growth again, something which may already be evident as the survey saw the largest increase in inflows of new business for three years in June," Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist wrote in the report.

Traders will get a look at U.S. factory activity later in the morning.

Also on the docket is a closely-watched report on existing home sales. Economists expect sales of existing, single-family homes to have risen to an annual pace of 4.73 million units in May, from 4.65 million units the month prior. The housing market has been bouncing back from a harsh winter that hit activity.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures rose 83 cents, or 0.78%, to $107.26 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline advanced 0.14% to $3.132 a gallon. Gold fell $3.50, or 0.26%, to $1,313 a troy ounce.