S&P 500 expected to remain near all-time high as investors await Disney, Emerson earnings

Trader Lewis Vande Pallen, right, works on the

Trader Lewis Vande Pallen, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (April 12, 2013) (Credit: AP )

U.S. stock futures were little changed early Tuesday morning, indicating the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index will remain near an all-time high as investors awaited earnings from a host of companies, including Walt Disney Co. (DIS) to Emerson Electric Co. (EMR)

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) increased 3.8 percent in German trading after the second-largest video-game publisher reached a multiyear agreement with Disney to create games based on "Star Wars" characters.

S&P 500 futures expiring in June rose less than 0.1 percent to 1,614.2 at 10:51 a.m. in London. The benchmark gauge for U.S. equities advanced 0.2 percent to a record Monday. The measure topped 1,600 for the first time on May 3. Contracts on the Dow Jones industrial average added 18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 14,924 Tuesday.


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"Underlying sentiment is positive as the central banks have been very accommodative and the hope is that this will help to improve the still rather sluggish economy," said Andreas Nigg, head of equity and commodity strategy at Vontobel Asset Management in Zurich. "The motto 'sell in May and go away' may have worked in the past three years, but perhaps this year, with central banks in full easing mode, that trade may not work." About 73 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have released results since April 8 have exceeded profit projections, while 53 percent have missed sales estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Disney, Emerson and Electronic Arts are among 23 companies scheduled to report earnings Tuesday.

RBA Cut Asian shares climbed as the Reserve Bank of Australia cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 2.75 percent. Eight of 29 economists in a Bloomberg survey had predicted the cut, which was the seventh in the past 19 months.

The Bank of England will probably leave its stimulus program on hold this week amid signs the economy has found a firmer footing. A Bloomberg News survey of economists shows policymakers will refrain from expanding quantitative easing beyond 375 billion pounds ($585 billion) on May 9.

Electronic Arts rose 3.8 percent to $18.99. Under the agreement with Disney announced late Monday, Electronic Arts won the right to develop new "Star Wars" titles for game consoles, computers and mobile devices. Disney will retain certain rights to develop new titles within the mobile, social, tablet and online game categories.

Disney gained 0.5 percent to $65.37 in German trading. The company may say profit excluding some items rose to 77 cents a share in the three months ended March 31, from 58 cents a year earlier, according to the average analyst projection in a Bloomberg survey. Estimates show the company will earn $3.46 a share in 2013, the most since data going back to 2002.

First Solar Inc. (FSLR), the largest U.S. solar manufacturer by shipments, added 0.7 percent to $48.02 in Europe. The company said it expects results in the second half of the year to be better than in the first half, a reversal of its earlier forecast, as it acquires new solar farms that will use its panels.

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