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Stock Futures Little Changed Ahead of Factory Orders

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were little changed Tuesday as international markets weakened ahead of data on U.S. auto sales and factory orders.

Futures for the S&P 500 were dipping 0.25 points, or 1.96 points below fair value, to 1,606.5. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were falling 6 points, or 16.96 points below fair value, to 14,876. Futures for the Nasdaq were trading sideways at 2,920.75.

Major U.S. stock markets rose Monday to start the second half of 2013 as investors embraced reports showing manufacturing and spending growth across developed economies.

Although stocks finished the first half of 2013 up by double digits, Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist at BlackRock in New York, said in a client note that stocks still have more room to run in the second half as valuations remain attractive.

"For the remainder of the year we continue to emphasize large and mega-cap U.S. stocks and we would suggest a focus on select cyclical sectors, namely energy and technology," he wrote.

Constellation Brands (STZ) was falling 2.37% to $51.89 after the wine company posted quarterly earnings that missed expectations by two cents at 38 cents per share and also disappointed on revenue amid higher costs, including those of grapes.

Linn Energy (LINE) was plunging more than 9.5% to $30.02 after the company said late Monday that the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an informal inquiry into its financial disclosures and the driller's pending merger with Berry Petroleum ( BRY ).

Automakers such as Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) are scheduled to report U.S. auto sales for June on Tuesday. Sales are expected to have risen 6% to 8% in June from last year, according to TrueCar.com. Both stocks were edging up less than 1% in premarket trading.

At 10 a.m. EDT Tuesday, the Census Bureau is expected to report that factory orders increased 2% in May after rising 1% in April.

Then at 12:30 p.m., New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley is scheduled to speak about economic conditions in Stamford, Conn.

In other corporate headlines, Zynga (ZNGA) was popping more than 6.5% to $3.27. CEO Mark Pincus is to be replaced next Monday by Don Mattrick, who most recently served as head of Microsoft's Xbox division. Zynga , the maker of "Farmville," said Pincus, the founder of the company, will remain chairman and chief product officer.

Mattrick served as the president of Microsoft's entertainment business, which includes the Xbox, since 2010.

Nielsen (NLSN)was gaining more than 3.5% to $34.50 in premarket trading. The company will be replacing Sprint Nextel (S) in the S&P 500 after the market close on July 8 with the takeover of most of Sprint's business by Japan's SoftBank Corp.

The FTSE 100 in London was slipping 0.57%, while the DAX in Germany was declining 1.28%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng settled down 0.7% and the Nikkei 225 in Japan closed up 1.78% amid a weaker yen.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down 1/32, raising the yield to 2.484%. The dollar was rising 0.29% to $83.30 according to the U.S. dollar index.

August crude oil futures were rising 28 cents to $98.27 a barrel. August gold futures were falling $2.50 to $1,253.20 an ounce.

Written by Andrea Tse in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.>.

Stock quotes in this article: ^DJI, ^GSPC, ^IXIC, ZNGA, NLSN, STZ, BRY 

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