(Reuters) - Stock index futures were little changed on Tuesday as investors found little reason to make big bets in what was expected to be a light-volume session following the previous week's gains.
The S&P 500 has risen for four straight sessions and turned positive for the year on Friday, with improving economic data helping to boost equities last week. The gains were amplified by the light pre-holiday trading.
Investors looked ahead to November Midwest manufacturing data, scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. EST as well as S&P/Case-Shiller home price data for October due at 9 a.m. EST and the December consumer confidence report at 10 a.m. EST.
Home prices are seen edging lower from the previous month, while the confidence reading is seen rising to 58.3 from 56.0.
There won't be much action today because of the holiday, but if there's anything surprising in the data we could see an exaggerated move because of how light the volume will be, said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The data comes after better-than-expected housing and jobless claims data last week that confirmed a slowly improving economy.
S&P 500 futures fell 1.2 points and were below 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 slipped 7 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 5 points.
Markets were flat globally following the long Christmas weekend, with European stocks finance/markets/index?symbol=gb%21FTPP>.FTEU3 up 0.1 percent.
Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) is lagging behind major U.S. competitors in complying with new capital rules, leading the bank to consider even more asset sales, sources said. Shares of the Dow component edged 0.7 percent lower to $5.56 in premarket trading.
Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O) plans to close 100-120 Kmart and Sears stores and sees its adjusted fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization falling by more than half from a year ago. Shares were flat in premarket action.
Equities extended their gains to close out a fourth straight winning session on Friday after the strong economic data. In addition, investors hoped that Congressional approval of a two-month extension of a payroll tax cut would remove a headwind that could have hit growth in 2012.