* S&P 500, Nasdaq coming off five-day advances
* Travelers and United Tech profits top expectations
* Futures up: Dow 6 pts, S&P 0.7 pt, Nasdaq 2.25 pts (Adds McDonald's results)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK (Frankfurt: HX6.F - news) , April 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futurespointed to a flat open on Tuesday as investors found few reasonsto keep buying after a five-day rally in the S&P 500, despitestrong results from a number of bellwether names.
* Netflix Inc surged 7.8 percent to $375.74 inpremarket trading a day after results showed strong subscribergrowth, a sign that the trading favorite still had room to growdespite concerns over its elevated valuation.
* Dow components Travelers Cos Inc and UnitedTechnologies Corp both reported first-quarter earningsthat beat expectations, and United Tech raised the low end ofits full-year profit outlook. Shares of Travelers rose 0.4percent to $86.75 before the bell.
* The three were the latest prominent names to topforecasts, continuing a trend that last week helped lift the S&P500 to its best week since July. McDonald's Corp reported earnings that fell alongside a drop in U.S. same-storesales, though the Dow component rose 0.9 percent to $100.60before the bell.
* Dozens of S&P 500 components are slated to report thisweek. Of the 87 that had reported thus far, 62.1 percent havetopped earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters (Frankfurt: TOC.F - news) data,compared with the 66 percent average over the past fourquarters. On revenue, 51.7 percent have exceeded forecasts,below the 54 percent average over the past four quarters.
* S&P 500 companies' first-quarter earnings are projected tohave increased 0.8 percent from a year ago, Thomson Reuters datashowed. The forecast is down sharply from the start of the year,when profit growth was estimated at 6.5 percent.
* S&P 500 futures rose 0.7 point and were slightlyunder fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by takinginto account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration onthe contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added6 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 2.25 points.
* European shares were sharply higher on the day,rising 1.1 percent on the back of deal activity in thepharmaceutical space, including Novartis (Xetra: NOT.DE - news) both swappingassets with GlaxoSmithKline (Other OTC: GLAXF - news) and selling a unit to EliLilly & Co. U.S. shares of Glaxo rose 4 percent to$55.23 in premarket trading.
* In company news, Allergan Inc (NYSE: AGN - news) jumped 17.5 percentto $166.75 in premarket trading a day after activist investorWilliam Ackman teamed up with Canadian drugmaker ValeantPharmaceuticals International Inc to make a joint bidfor the company.
* General Motors Co filed a motion in a U.S.bankruptcy court to enforce a bar on lawsuits related toignition defects in cars sold before its 2009 bankruptcy as itfights a class action lawsuit that seeks to set aside therestriction. (Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)
- Stocks & Offerings
- Investment & Company Information
- United Technologies Corp