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US STOCKS-Futures tick up as Fed remains focus; resistance looms

Monday, 18 Nov 2013 | 7:53 AM ET

* Sony sells a million consoles, pressures Microsoft shares

* Airbus, Boeing shares rally

* Futures up: Dow 55 pts, S&P 3 pts, Nasdaq 4 pts

NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures ticked higher on Monday, with the Dow and S&P set to extend their records as trading continues to focus on economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve and other major central banks.

* Major indexes are facing round numbers, with the Dow near 16,000, the S&P knocking on 1,800 and the Nasdaq close to 4,000. These levels could provide technical resistance, but also attract more investors and managers eager to chase performance.

* With intervention from the Fed expected to keep interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future, equities are expected to continue to attract yield-seeking investors even after the Fed begins to slow down its monthly asset purchases.

* Three Fed presidents are expected to speak Monday, with New York's William Dudley out on economic conditions at 12:15 p.m. EST (1715 GMT), Philadelphia's Charles Plosser on the economic outlook at 1:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) and Minneapolis' Narayana Kocherlakota on "Too Big to Fail: the Need for Metrics" at 7:45 p.m. (0045 GMT).

* S&P 500 futures 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 rose 55 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 4 points.

* Sony Corp said on Sunday it had sold 1 million units of its new PlayStation 4 gaming console in the first 24 hours that it was available in the United States and Canada. U.S.-traded Sony shares rose 1.3 percent in premarket trading while Microsoft, maker of competing console Xbox, fell 1.3 percent premarket. The new Xbox One console goes on sale Nov. 22.

* Airbus and Boeing signed deals to buy about $5 billion of parts and materials from Abu Dhabi, in a sign Gulf states are seeking a reciprocal boost to their economies from the huge orders they have placed with the planemakers. Shares in both planemakers rose more than 3 percent.

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