Stock index futures were flat on Tuesday as investors awaited key economic data for fresh signs of an economic recovery a day after the Dow and the S&P rallied to their highest closes in more than 15 months.
Investors will get a better picture of the state of consumer spending as automakers report U.S. vehicle sales for December. Economists surveyed by Reuters expect median annualized domestic sales of 3.90 million cars and 4.45 million trucks, slightly higher than 3.87 million cars and 4.44 million trucks sold in November.
The Commerce Department is to report November factory orders at 10 a.m. EST. Economists see a rise of 0.5 percent, compared with a 0.6 percent gain in the prior month.
Kraft Foods Inc
January is an important month in terms of being an indicator on how the rest of the year would trade, and we started off well ... The market is going to focus on improving economic data, and less on the threats of higher interest rates or reduction in global monetary stimulus, said Peter Boockvar, Equity Strategist at Miller Tabak + Co in New York.
S&P 500 futures rose 1.5 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 rose 1 point, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 2 points.
The National Association of Realtors will release pending home sales for November at 10 a.m. EST. Economists look for a 2.0 percent decline, compared with a 3.7 percent rise in the previous month.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)