US STOCKS-Futures flat ahead of U.S. data flurry

Wed May 15, 2013 7:08am EDT

* Research in Motion falls after downgrade

* PPI, Empire State data on tap

* France enters shallow recession

* Futures: Dow up 8 pts, S&P off 0.2 pt, Nasdaq up 1 pt

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday, indicating the S&P 500 may hold near its most recent record high, ahead of data on inflation and manufacturing.

* Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 rallied to a fresh record high on Tuesday, buoyed by gains in large-cap shares on investor expectations central bank stimulus measures will continue to support further gains.

* The S&P 500 is up 15.7 percent for the year while the Dow has jumped 16.1 percent.

* Economic data expected at 8:30 a.m. includes the producer price index for April. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a 0.6 percent drop, a repeat of the drop in March. Excluding volatile food and energy items, PPI is expected to rise 0.1 percent versus with a 0.2 percent increase in March.

* Also at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT) the New York Federal Reserve releases its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for May. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 4.00 compared with 3.05 in April.

* S&P 500 futures slipped 0.2 point and were roughly even with 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 rose 8 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 1 point.

* At 9:15 a.m. the Federal Reserve releases industrial production and capacity utilization data for April. Forecasts call for a 0.2 percent drop in production and a reading of 78.3 percent for capacity utilization.

* Investors will also eye housing data at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT) for any signs of continued improvement with the release of the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo issues May housing market index. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 43 versus 42 in April.

* An improving housing market has been seen as a tailwind to the economic recovery.

* U.S.-listed shares of Research in Motion shed 3.1 percent to $14.78 in premarket trade after Bernstein cut its rating on the Blackberry maker to "market perform."

* European shares were mixed, taking a breather from a sharp rally started in mid-April, with lower-than-expected growth data for Germany and France denting investor appetite.

* Data showed Germany's economy grew just 0.1 percent in the first quarter, while France entered a shallow recession, contracting by 0.2 percent, more than economists had expected.

* Japan's Nikkei share average surged to a 5-1/2-year high as Japanese exporters rallied after the yen's recent slide.