S&P 500 futures were flat on Wednesday, struggling to move past their 200-day simple moving average ahead of a busy day on the earnings calendar.
Futures searched for direction as Boeing Co , the Dow industrials' best performing stock so far in 2010, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit but forecast full-year earnings slightly below Wall Street's consensus estimate.
Boeing shares were little changed in premarket trading.
Economic data due later on Wednesday include June durable goods figures at 8:30 a.m. ET, expected to show a 1 percent monthly increase from May.
If the economic data is benign and earnings season continues at the robust pace it has been, we're going to see a market that's going to find its way higher than that 200-day moving average in a short period of time, said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co in Boston.
If we can't (move above the 200-day figure) in short order, the next stop is down at 1,080, so we're stuck here in the middle with a 50-50 chance of going either way pretty quickly.
Other companies expected to report quarterly earnings include Visa Inc and oil company ConocoPhillips .
The S&P 500 closed above its 200-day simple moving average on Monday for the first time in a month but failed to confirm that close in the next session.
S&P 500 futures rose 2 points and were about even with 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 dropped 14 points and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 1.5 points.
The S&P 500 snapped a three-day winning streak on Tuesday after mixed earnings reports and a fall in consumer confidence. The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.1 percent while the Nasdaq was off 0.4 percent.
The global economic recovery is set to continue despite signs of slowing momentum, a senior International Monetary Fund official said on Tuesday.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)