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Stock futures flat after five-day winning streak

June 20, 2014
By Chuck Mikolajczak and Bernadette Baum

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. 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 toward 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 <.DJI> 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 <1YMc2> 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 Corp said it was no longer in discussions with Energy Transfer Equity LP , the pipeline company controlled by billionaire Kelcy Warren, regarding a deal.

* U.S.-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 U.S. rival AbbVie , the latest attempt by a U.S. healthcare firm to tap into the London-listed group’s low tax rate.

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

* Japan’s Nikkei <.N225> ended slightly lower after touching a fresh five-month peak, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> ran out of steam, easing 0.4 percent on losses in South Korea and China.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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