US STOCKS-Futures edge higher, S&P's record high within view

Wed Apr 3, 2013 7:31am EDT
 
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* S&P 500 inches towards all-time intraday high

* Data on U.S. private employment, services sector on tap

* Vodafone ADRs fall as Verizon rules out takeover

* Futures up: Dow 16 pts, S&P 2.3 pts, Nasdaq 4.25 pts

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, April 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 even closer to its all-time intraday high as investors awaited the latest round of economic data.

* The S&P has been within striking distance of its record level of 1,576.09 for the past several sessions, edging within three points on Tuesday before pulling back. While the index did end at a new closing high, the fact that stocks pared gains late in the session gave investors a reason to question the strength of the recent rally.

* Moves may be slight until the release of the closely watched nonfarm payrolls report on Friday as there are few major catalysts before then. The S&P is up less than 0.1 percent so far this week.

* Nonetheless, economic data will be scoured for signs on whether the economy continues to steadily improve. The March read for the Institute for Supply Management's services index, due at 10 a.m., is seen coming in at 55.8, down from 56.0 in the previous month.   Continued...