US STOCKS-Wall Street to rise as Fed remains focus; resistance looms
* Sony shares rally on PlayStation sales, pressure Microsoft
* Airbus, Boeing shares jump
* Futures up: Dow 55 pts, S&P 3 pts, Nasdaq 4 pts
NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to inch up at the open 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 central banks.
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 Tuesday).
With intervention from the Fed seen keeping 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.
"It is another week when markets will focus on the Fed, with the big event the FOMC minutes (on Wednesday)," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
"Interest rates are not going to go anywhere for the next year and a half or two," he said. "As we approach 1,800 on the S&P, that's going to see some resistance, (but) all the ingredients are there for the market to go higher."
Major indexes are approaching 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.
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.
The S&P and Dow on Friday closed at record highs, ending their sixth straight week of gains.
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 aircraft orders they have placed. Shares in both plane makers rose more than 3 percent.
Sony Corp said on Sunday it had sold 1 million units of its new PlayStation 4 gaming console in the first 24 hours it was available in the United States and Canada. U.S.-traded Sony shares rose 4.2 percent in premarket trading while Microsoft, maker of competing console Xbox, fell 1.4 percent premarket. The new Xbox One console goes on sale Nov. 22.