US STOCKS-Futures edge up as technical levels eyed

* Deere says sales below normal levels

* Target profit rises

* S&P 500 trades around 50-day moving average

* Futures up: S&P by 3 pts, Dow 4 pts, Nasdaq 3.5 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

By Edward Krudy

NEW YORK, Aug 18 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) index futures
edged higher on Wednesday as the S&P 500 struggled to make a
sustained move above a key technical level amid continued
concerns about the health of the economy.

The broad-based S&P has traded around its 50-day moving
average for the last four days after falling sharply last week
following a bleak assessment of the economy from the U.S.
Federal Reserve. The 50-day average is currently about 1,088.

Investors have been torn between signs the economy is
slowing and better corporate results. Stocks rallied more than
1 percent on Tuesday helped by earnings from some big retailers
but the S&P failed to break above the closely watched 1,100
level.

“The big challenge in this market is that incredibly low
interest rates carry both the promise of potentially higher
stocks and the concern of a completely weakening economy,” said
Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital
Management (one word), in New York. “Those two factors playing
against each other have led us to become very range bound.”

Two big U.S. companies, Deere & Co (DE.N: ) and Target Corp
(TGT.N: ), posted higher quarterly profits. Still, Deere shares
fell 2 percent to $65.86 in premarket trading after it said
sales were “far below normal levels.”

Target fell 2.2 percent to $49.55 premarket despite rising
profits. For details, see [ID:nN18179869] [ID:nN18266888]

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) rose 3 points and were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: ) rose 4
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) were up 3.5 points.

U.S.-traded shares of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc
(POT.TO: )(POT.N: ) rose 2 percent to $146.31 premarket a day after
the Canadian fertilizer group’s board rejected a $39 billion
bid from BHP Billiton Ltd (BHP.AX: )(BLT.L: ), the world’s largest
mining group. [ID:nN22340110]

Resource-related stocks will be in focus after crude oil
futures fell almost 1 percent as petroleum inventories in the
United States headed for a record, following an unexpected
sharp increase in crude stocks last week.

Copper was little changed after hitting a one-week high
earlier in the session as inventory declines offset concerns
about slowing demand in top metals consumer China.
[ID:nLDE67H0V5]

European stocks (.FTEU3: ) were little changed, while
Japan’s Nikkei average (.N225: ) rose nearly 1 percent a day
after the index hit an eight-month closing low, though
increases were limited by yen strength against the dollar.
(Reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Futures edge up as technical levels eyed