Stock Futures Cautious as Investors Await Economic Indicators
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were little changed Tuesday as the markets paused ahead of consumer sentiment and home price reports and digested a number of corporate earnings releases.
"The U.S. stock market remains near record highs despite recent weak economic reports and bearish investor sentiment," Gary Thayer, a macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis, said in a client note. "Several overseas stock markets have declined modestly during the past two months as the economic news softened. However, the U.S. economy is leading the global economic recovery, and the U.S. stock market has been more resilient than other markets in weaker economies."
He added that on another positive note inflation concerns are receding as the global economy grows slowly, and that is good for U.S. equities.
Drug giant Pfizer
Swiss banking giant UBS
Futures for the S&P 500 were down 0.5 points, or 0.76 points below fair value, to 1,587.75. U.S. stocks gained Monday led by health care stocks after a report showed an improvement in home contract signings, a positive sign on national housing demand and economic momentum.
The S&P/Case-Shiller composite 20-city home price index is expected to register a 9% annual gain in February after an 8.1% rise in January at 9 a.m.
The Chicago PMI is expected to show an increase to 52.5 in April from 52.4 in March at 9:45 a.m.
At 10 a.m., the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence report for April will be released. A rise to 60.8 from 59.7 from the prior month is anticipated.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Employment Cost Index rose a tame 0.3% in the first quarter, after a downwardly-revised 0.4% rise in the fourth quarter, a positive in the Federal Reserve's desire to keep wage inflation in check. The increase was less than the 0.5% increase expected, on average by economists, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.