U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open on Wall Street on Tuesday as investors awaited key housing data a day after the S&P 500 index jumped to its highest close in seven months.
Investors will eye an industry report on pending sales of previously owned homes, which are expected to have risen 0.5 percent in April, according to a Reuters poll. The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index rose 3.2 percent to 84.6 in March.
We had a big run-up yesterday, and everybody is looking for a consolidation trade, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills, New York.
We have jobs data on Friday, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the market flatten and focus on that. The government will report employment data on Friday.
S&P 500 futures fell 1.60 points 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 fell 8 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures shed 1.50 points.
Several financial stocks, including Dow components JP Morgan Chase & Co
The market is up, and it seems like a wise time for companies to issue stock and either stabilize their balance sheets or repay TARP, the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, added Ghriskey.
Companies generally want to get out from under the finger of the government.
American Express shares slid 4 percent to $24.95, while JP Morgan fell 2.5 percent to $35.21.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CNBC during a visit to Beijing that improving confidence may lessen U.S. banks' interest in programs designed by the government to reduce toxic assets on their balance sheets.
Pepsi Bottling Group Inc
A number of retailers are due to report monthly sales results on Thursday.
U.S. stocks rose Monday, sending the S&P 500 <.SPX> to its highest close in seven months, as reassuring economic data reinforced hopes that demand will stabilize, while General Motors Corp's
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)