March 10 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures were little changed, after equities surged to a record, as investors weighed a slowdown in Chinese exports for clues about the strength of the global recovery.
Boeing Co. dropped 2 percent in early New York trading after a 777-200 plane disappeared with 239 passengers and crew during a Malaysia Airlines flight to Beijing on March 8. 3D Systems Corp. lost 3.4 percent and Stratasys Ltd., fell 2.8 percent after Barron’s magazine said stocks of the 3D printer makers were overvalued.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring this month slid 0.1 percent to 1,876 at 7:17 a.m. in New York, after the benchmark gauge completed a five-year, 178 percent rally. The measure rose 1 percent last week, buoyed by improving hiring and manufacturing data. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,431 today.
“The health of the global economy is a tale of two parts,” said Teis Knuthsen, chief investment officer at Saxo Bank A/S’s private-banking unit in Hellerup, Denmark. “The U.S. will drive global growth this year but a few key emerging markets like China are looking a bit weaker and relatively vulnerable. With extremely expansive monetary policy still in place, developed-market equities are the place to be. After the S&P 500 rose to a new record, valuations are only fair now but investors may be willing to pay higher multiples.”
Nine of 10 main S&P 500 groups advanced last week, sending the index to trade at 15.97 times its members’ projected earnings. Financial stocks paced the gains, rallying 3 percent to the highest since September 2008. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, a gauge for future volatility known as the VIX, added 0.8 percent last week.
The S&P 500 has rallied 7.8 percent since hitting a three- month low on Feb. 3 amid turmoil in emerging markets from Turkey to Argentina. That restored $1.8 trillion to U.S. equity prices.
Asian stocks retreated from a six-week high today and China’s CSI 300 Index dropped to a five-year low after customs data from March 8 showed exports from China fell 18.1 percent in February from a year earlier. That was the largest decline since August 2009. The median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had called for a 7.5 percent increase.
Boeing Co. lost 2 percent to $126.02. Malaysia still had no information about the Boeing aircraft, which was carrying 239 people when it left Kuala Lumpur. A team from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board was heading to Malaysia to be in place once the wreckage of the plane is located. The team was being joined by experts from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing.
3D Systems fell 4.9 percent to $64.01, while Stratasys declined 2.2 percent to $112.01 in early trading. Barron’s said 3D printer stocks look overvalued and that the two companies have “exorbitant” share prices, according to its March 10 issue. 3D Systems trades at 84.2 times its projected earnings, and Stratasys trades at a multiple of 51.9, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.