US STOCKS-Wall St to open flat amid few market catalysts

Reuters

* Home Depot shares rise as housing recovery boosts results

* Best Buy swings to a profit, margin concerns pressureshares

* Trina Solar posts profit after string of losses, sharesjump

* Futures: Dow up 27 pts, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 4 pts

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to drifthigher at the open on Tuesday after the Dow and S&P 500 hitrecord highs the previous session, with a few earnings reportsexpected to dominate trading amid a lack of broad marketcatalysts.

Major indexes continue to face resistance at key levelsafter the Dow traded above 16,000 and the S&P topped 1,800,levels that both were unable to hold at Monday's close.

Markets are seen trading in a tight range as technicalresistance and the lack of bullish news is offset by thecontinued support to equities from the Federal Reserve'seconomic stimulus.

Investors will look for any changes in tone from the Fed asChicago Fed President Charles Evans speaks on current economicconditions and monetary policy at 2:15 p.m. EDT (1915 GMT) andFed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on "Communication and MonetaryPolicy" at 7 p.m. (0000 GMT).

"There's no real news to propel the market higher but noreal options for investors in terms of other places to put theirmoney," said Rick Meckler, president of investment firmLibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

"The market will likely stay here until the beginning ofnext year and the Fed decides when is a good time to changepolicy," he said. "It's going to take a weak holiday season,people reporting weak retail sales," to take the market downsignificantly.

A recovery in the U.S. housing market helped Home Depot top profit and sales estimates for the third quarter,prompting the No. 1 home improvement chain to raise itsfiscal-year outlook for the third time this year. Shares gained3.3 percent in premarket trading.

S&P 500 futures were flat and little changed in termsof fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking intoaccount interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on thecontract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 27points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 4 points.

Best Buy reported a quarterly profit, reversing ayear-ago loss, boosted by tight cost controls. But there wasalso concern over pressure on margins during the holiday seasonand the stock fell 5.5 percent. As of Monday's close, Best Buywas up 268 percent so far this year.

Trina Solar Ltd posted a profit after eight quartersof losses as solar panel prices held steady after a four-yeardecline and the company cut manufacturing costs, sending itsshares up 10 percent in premarket trading.

Tesla Motors shares fell 1 percent premarket. U.S.traffic safety regulators launched an investigation into theluxury electric sports car maker's Model S sedan after three carfires in six weeks. The stock was down 24 percent this month toMonday's close.

Campbell Soup fell 5.5 percent premarket after theworld's largest soup maker reported quarterly earnings thatmissed analysts' estimates by a wide margin.

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