Stock Futures Flat as 2013 Finale Approaches

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a flat opening Monday as investors await a measurement of business activity in December.

Futures for the S&P 500 were adding 0.01% 1,836.75. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were gaining 0.03%, to 16,426. Nasdaq futures were slipping 0.09% to 3,567.

"Despite the market being at all-time new highs, we continue to see abundant skepticism from investors, who are expecting a sharp pullback in prices given the stellar YTD advance observed in 2013," Craig W. Johnson, managing director at PiperJaffray, wrote in a note to clients on Monday. "We still believe the market could continue to grind higher in early 2014, reaching 2,000 in the first or second quarter."

The Dallas Federal Reserve is set to release its manufacturing survey at 10:30 a.m. ET, which will give market participants an idea of general business activity in Texas. Shortly before that report, the National Association of Realtors will reveal pending home sales for November.

The S&P 500 has risen just short of 30% in 2013, but reaching that threshold could be difficult with volumes expected to be light as the final two trading days of the year lead into the New Year holiday.

In company news, Apple (AAPL) shares were dipping 0.36% to $558.10 as the maker of the iPhone is up more than 5% in 2013. On the whole, the tech-heavy Nasdaq index has outperformed the S&P this year.

Cooper Tire & Rubber  (CTB) gave up on plans to merge with Apollo Tyres as the company said it no longer had financing available to continue with the transaction. Shares of the company were falling 3.1% to $22.25 a share in premarket action.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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