By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

Deal news may drive trading action for Valeant, Alibaba

U.S. stock futures traded flat early Tuesday, a sign the market is cooling down ahead of a much anticipated midweek news conference by President-elect Donald Trump.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 4 points to 19,824, while S&P 500 futures fell 0.5 point to 2,264.50. Nasdaq-100 futures traded flat at 5,022.

The Nasdaq Composite finished at a record high for the second session in a row (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-industrials-keep-20000-in-sight-with-fed-speakers-ahead-2017-01-09) on Monday, adding 10.76 points to 5,531.82.

But the other main indexes pulled back amid new-year caution that has taken hold of some investors who have been pushing up stocks on the prospect that Trump's policies will stimulate economic growth. The Dow industrials not only failed to make it to 20,000 on Monday, but retreated further, closing off 76.42 points 19,887.38, while the S&P 500 index slipped 8.08 points to 2,268.90.

Read: Goldman's Hatzius says investors could get blindsided by Fed hikes this year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/goldmans-hatzius-35-chance-of-fed-hike-in-march-and-markets-arent-braced-for-it-2017-01-09)

Trump will hold a news conference on Wednesday, his first since July (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/donald-trump-announces-jan-11-news-conference-his-first-since-july-2017-01-03).

"If Donald Trump succeeds to cheer up investors at this week's conference, we could see a fresh rally in the U.S. stocks and the U.S. dollar. Therefore, the upside risks prevail in the U.S. markets," said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, in a note to investors.

Read: Here's why Trump's inauguration could mark a near-term top for stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-why-trumps-inauguration-could-mark-a-near-term-top-for-stocks-2017-01-09)

More evidence of pre-Trump news conference nervousness could be found in the dollar , which pulled back somewhat on Wednesday. The dollar has been rising on hopes that the new administration's fiscal stimulus will boost the economy, but some analysts believe that bet may have been pushed as far as it will go for now. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-dollar-rally-has-about-run-its-course-by-these-measures-2017-01-09)

Economic docket: Data on tap for Tuesday includes the National Federation of Independent Business gauge of small-business optimism for December, due around 6 a.m. Eastern Time.Readings on job openings and wholesale inventories for November are scheduled for release at 10 a.m. Eastern.

There are no Federal Reserve officials scheduled to speak Tuesday.

Stocks to watch: Late Monday, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.(VRX.T) said it will sell its Dendreon cancer unit (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/valeant-to-sell-its-dendreon-cancer-business-to-chinas-sanpower-2017-01-09) to Chinese conglomerate Sanpower Group Inc. for $818.8 million in cash.

In addition, Valeant has agreed to sell three skin care brands (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/valeant-agrees-13-bln-skincare-deal-with-loreal-2017-01-10) to French cosmetics giant L'Oreal SA (OR.FR) for $1.3 billion.

Alphabet Inc.'s(GOOGL) Google is said to be in talks to sell its satellite business Terra Bella (http://www.wsj.com/articles/google-in-talks-to-sell-its-satellite-business-1484032111) to startup rival Planet Labs Inc.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.(BABA) said it will team up with the founder of China's Intime Retail (Group) Co.to take the department-store owner private (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alibaba-to-help-chinas-retailer-intime-go-private-in-26-billion-deal-2017-01-10), in a deal worth 19.8 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.6 billion).

Read: Alibaba promises Trump 1 million jobs, but don't believe it (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alibaba-promises-trump-1-million-jobs-but-dont-believe-it-2017-01-09)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alibaba-promises-trump-1-million-jobs-but-dont-believe-it-2017-01-09)Yahoo Inc.(YHOO) could be in focus after plans were disclosed Monday afternoon in which Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer and co-founder David Filo resigned from the board of directors (.http://www.marketwatch.com/story/altaba-explained-yahoo-will-still-be-yahoo-and-marissa-mayer-is-still-ceo-for-now-2017-01-09).

Earnings season kicks off in earnest later this week, with banks such as J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) due to report Friday.

Other markets: European stocks traded sluggish in early action, while Asian markets mostly declined.

Oil prices showed signs of a rebound after a 4% drop on Monday, while gold prices eased back.

Read:Stock-market bulls may get scorched by 'Icarus trade' in 2017 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stock-market-bulls-could-get-scorched-by-icarus-trade-in-2017-2017-01-09)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 10, 2017 05:18 ET (10:18 GMT)

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