U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Tuesday, ahead of data on third-quarter GDP and consumer confidence and following a strong advance in Monday's session.
The preliminary estimate on gross domestic product growth, November consumer sentiment data as well as the September Case/Shiller housing price index could provide insight into how firmly a recovery has taken hold.
The data is going to be the market driver today, and after the rally we had yesterday, investors are waiting to see what the data comes in at before they jump in one way or the other, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York.
The market's momentum is still to the upside, so if the data is better than expected, we could see another strong rally.
Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) reported a quarterly profit that matched its preliminary results late Monday, and said that while the economy remained challenging, it saw signs of a recovery.
H.J. Heinz Co (HNZ.N) posted a drop in second-quarter earnings on Tuesday, but lifted its full-year profit view.
Analog Devices Inc (ADI.N) and Brocade Communications Systems Inc (BRCD.O) both reported quarterly results that beat expectations late Monday. Analog Devices also forecast higher profit margins.
Investors have been closely watching the technology sector, which is generally considered one of the first to recover from recession.
S&P 500 futures SPc1 rose 2.3 points and were modestly 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 DJc1 were up 2 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures NDc1 added 0.25 points.
In overseas markets, Hong Kong and China stocks fell, with the Shanghai composite index .SSEC off 3.5 percent, dragged down by banks. European stocks were little changed, though financials were pressured.
Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration's pay czar, is being pressed by federal officials to relax executive compensation restrictions at American International Group Inc (AIG.N) for 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.
U.S. stocks snapped a three-day losing streak on Monday, as stronger-than-expected home sales data fueled optimism while a weaker dollar boosted commodity-linked stocks.