Wall Street was set to open flat on Thursday, with investors eyeing retail sales and weekly jobless data for fresh insight into the state of the recession-hit economy.
* Investors will watch a 30-year treasury note auction for direction on interest rates, one day after a weak 10-year auction sent yields on the benchmark note to a eight-month high. The latest results are due at 1 p.m. EDT.
* Stock investors have been concerned that rates may dampen an economic recovery by increasing borrowing costs for consumers and businesses and are drawing money away from the stock market.
* Retail sales are expected to have risen in May for the first time in three months, helped by rising gasoline prices and an uptick in demand for cars and light trucks. May sales, due at 8:30 a.m. are forecast to rise 0.5 percent, after falling 0.4 percent in April, according a Reuters poll.
* Weekly jobless claims, also due at 8:30 a.m., are expected to be lower by 6,000 to 615,000 for the latest week. Last week, the monthly payrolls data showed a mixed picture, with a slowing in the number of job losses in May but a rise in the unemployment rate.
* Probably the real mover of the day will be retail sales, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York. That will give us an insight as to whether or not the consumer is still overly cautious in spending or whether confidence is beginning to return.
* S&P 500 futures rose 1.70 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 added 12 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures were up 4.50 points.
* Chinese investment surged in May on the back of large government stimulus spending, fanning hopes that the world's third-largest economy may help to lead a global recovery.
* The price of oil continued to move higher, and investors were concerned that could harm a recovery. Energy company shares gained as U.S. front-month crude rose 1 percent.
* Brokerage KBW boosted its rating on Bank of America Corp
* Data due after the market opens includes business inventories for April, expected to show a contraction of 1 percent for the month, in line with March's decline.
* National Semiconductor Corp
* U.S. stocks fell Wednesday on worries that rising interest rates could hurt spending, but stocks pared losses late in the session to finish off the day's lows.
(Reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)