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U.S. Futures Dip Ahead of Home Sales Report

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a pullback on Wall Street Wednesday after the S&P 500 climbed near its record and ahead of a report expected to show weaker demand for housing.

Futures for the S&P 500 were falling 8.25 points, or 8.27 points below fair value, at 1,549 after the index closed less than 2 points from its all-time high on Tuesday despite a tepid report on consumer confidence from the Conference Board.

The market's run has been bolstered by money coming into U.S. equities from European investors eager to escape uncertainties in their region.

Fears about the stability of the Eurozone remain escalated after the harsh bailout terms imposed on the tiny island of Cyprus. Attention has turned once again to Italy, where five-year borrowing costs have soared to its highest level since October 2012, when the Eurozone reassured the markets that it would step in to buy bonds of troubled nations that required assistance..

Political concerns in Italy have now taken center stage. On Wednesday, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement led by ex-comic Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment party rejected attempts by Italian Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani to a coalition.

"The recent performance of equities -- dancing around the previous ceiling from 2007 ... is unsurprising to many, the argument being that the recent rally should be consolidated before another push higher and we don't disagree," Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at broker-dealer BTIG LLC in New York, wrote in a note to clients.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were slipping 73 points, or 75.65 points below fair value, at 14,405. Contracts on the Nasdaq were down 13.25 points, or 12.3 points below fair value, at 2,786.5.

At 10 a.m. EST, the National Association of Realtors is expected by economists to report that pending home sales fell 0.2% in February after gaining 4.5% in January.

Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF - Get Report) was plunging 12.46% to $18.77 in premarket trading after Morgan Stanley cut its view on the iron ore and metallurgical coal producer to "underweight" from "equal weight" and slashed its target price for Cliffs to $14 from $36.

Biomed Realty Trust Inc. (BMR - Get Report) was dipping 1.37% to $21.54 after the real estate investment trust and general partner of BioMed Realty L.P said Tuesday evening that it will sell shares to help fund its pending acquisition of Wexford Science & Technology.

The FTSE in London was falling 0.05% on Wednesday and the DAX in Germany was down 0.58%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed up 0.69% and Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.18%.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was adding 10/32, diluting the yield to 1.88%. The dollar was rising 0.23%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

May crude oil futures were falling 51 cents to $95.83 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

SAIC (SAI), the security and communications technology provider, posted fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday of $186 million, or 54 cents a share, a swing from a year-earlier loss of $161 million, or 49 cents a share. Analysts were looking for fourth-quarter earnings of 52 cents a share.

Revenue was $2.71 billion, matching the estimates of analysts.

SAIC said it expects fiscal 2014 revenue of $10 billion to $10.7 billion, below analysts' expectations of $10.81 billion.

The company declared a special dividend of $1 a share, payable on June 28.

Shares were popping 3.74% to $13.30.

Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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

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