Stocks headed for a flat open on Thursday after data on weekly jobless claims and May retail sales raised worries that the pace of recovery would be sluggish.
Even though the data pointed to some improvement in the labor market and May retail sales were in line with expectations, investors were concerned that rising interest rates and surging oil prices may impede an economic recovery.
We think that unresolved problems in the housing market, in the financial system, in the global economy suggest that the recovery is going to be somewhat disappointing, said Zach Pandl, economist at Nomura Securities in New York.
S&P 500 futures were unchanged 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 lost 26 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.75 points.
Investors will zero in on a 30-year treasury bond auction at 1 p.m. EDT for direction on interest rates, one day after a weak 10-year auction sent yields on the benchmark note to a eight-month high.
After oil prices topped $72 per barrel earlier Thursday, the energy sector was set to command attention a day after settling at the highest level in seven months.
(Additional reporting by Herb Lash; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)