US futures steady after S&P closes at 5-year high

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Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 9:14 am

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock futures were little changed Friday in light volume as many investors appeared to take a breather after the Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed at a five-year peak.

Dow Jones industrial futures rose 2 points to 13,408. The broader S&P futures gained 0.60 points to 1,467.70. Nasdaq futures are up a point at 2,738.

The government reported that the U.S. trade deficit grew to wider than it has in seven months during November on a surge of imports. At the same time, exports to Europe tumbled 1.3 percent with half of the monetary block there in recession.

The deficit widened 15.8 percent to $48.7 billion in November from October. U.S. exports increased 1 percent to $182.6 billion, while imports grew 3.8 percent to $231.3 billion, according to the Commerce Department.

Economists are watching the deficit closely for signs that weakness overseas is curbing a slow but steady economic recovery in the U.S.

Also on Friday, Wells Fargo opened the earnings season for the financial sector, beating Wall Street profit and revenue expectations.

However, the bank's stock slipped almost 2 percent in premarket dealings on more evidence that historically low interest rates have had some negative effect. The bank's net interest margin - the difference between its lending rates and what it pays for deposits - fell from the same period last year.

Wells Fargo will be followed next week with quarterly earnings from Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley.

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