US STOCKS-Futures flat as Wall St heads for best year since 1997

Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:47am EST

* Case-Shiller home price index, consumer confidence data due

* Marvell Technology climbs after KKR reports stake

* Berkshire Hathaway to buy unit from Phillips 66

* Futures up: Dow 2 pts, S&P 0.9 pt, Nasdaq 2.25 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Dec 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Tuesday before housing and consumer confidence data, with the S&P 500 on track for its best year since 1997 and the Dow set to record its best performance since 1996.

* The S&P 500 is up 29.1 percent for the year and the Dow is up nearly 26 percent for 2013, boosted in large part by stimulus measures by the Federal Reserve. The Fed recently announced it will trim its monthly bond purchases in response to an improving economic picture.

* The Nasdaq is up 37.6 percent for the year, setting the technology-heavy index up for its best yearly performance since 2009.

* Economic data expected on Tuesday's full trading session includes the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index at 9 a.m. (1400 GMT). Expectations call for a gain of 0.7 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.

* Later in the session at 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), investors will eye the Conference Board's consumer confidence data. Expectations call for the reading to increase to 76 from the 70.4 in the prior month.

* S&P 500 futures rose 0.9 point and were slightly above 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 gained 2 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 2.25 points.

* For the month, the Dow is up 2.6 percent, the S&P has gained 2 percent and the Nasdaq has risen 2.3 percent.

* Trading volume is once again expected to be light with U.S. markets closed Wednesday for the New Year's holiday. Many traders are away, so the thin volume could make for greater volatility.

* Volume on Monday totaled 4.37 billion shares, well short of the 5.89 billion average so far this month, according to data from BATS Global Markets.

* Marvell Technology Group Ltd jumped 7.9 percent to $14.85 in premarket trade after private equity firm KKR & Co LLP reported a 6.8 percent stake in the chipmaker, according to a regulatory filing.

* Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc struck a deal for around $1.4 billion of stock to buy a Phillips 66 business that makes chemicals to improve the flow potential of pipelines. Phillips shares gained 1 percent to $75.50 in light premarket trade.

* European shares inched higher early in a shortened session on Tuesday before the New Year break, with pan-European indexes set to post their biggest annual gains since 2009.