Stocks were set to open little changed on Tuesday after a report showing a sharp drop in durable goods orders cut into upbeat sentiment a day after the S&P 500 closed at its highest since June 2008.
Separate reports showed durable goods orders fell in January by the most in three years and home prices declined in December, suggesting the economy may have started the year on a weaker foot than expected.
The market is going to put this in the back pocket, said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey, referring to the durable goods data.
The way that this market has been rallying ... (traders) don't care, and that's the bullish sentiment. It will matter eventually, but not now.
Investors awaited consumer confidence data after the market opens, with sentiment underpinned by Wednesday's expected liquidity injection by the European Central Bank aimed at supporting the euro zone's ailing banking sector.
S&P 500 futures rose 1.2 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 1 point, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 4 points.
The S&P 500 closed at 1,367.59 on Monday and still faced technical resistance at 1,370. A push above that point could spur more buying as money managers chase performance.
Europe's banks were expected to take in another half trillion euros in cheap three-year loans offered by the ECB on Wednesday, according to a Reuters poll of money market traders.
Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York, said earlier gains in futures came from enthusiasm over Wednesday's cash injection.
Brent crude futures dropped to hover near $123, halting a surge that has threatened to hurt the global economy.
Equity investors were still on their toes on persistent concerns over supply from the Middle East, but analysts said economic news will continue to be the driving force behind the U.S. equities market.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)