* Few catalysts seen with indexes near all-time highs
* Consumer confidence, home prices data both on tap
* Coal companies could advance after Macquarie comments
* Futures: Dow up 1 pt, S&P down 0.5 pt, Nasdaq up 1.5 pt
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Nov 26 U.S. stock index futures were
little changed on Tuesday, as investors looked ahead to upcoming
economic data to see whether the recent equity rally has been
* Wall Street has soared this year, with major indexes
hitting repeated all-time highs. As the rally has come without
pronounced declines, many investors have called for a pullback
amid few signs of robust economic growth.
* Insight into the economy's strength will come with the
release of November consumer confidence data at 10:00 a.m. EST
(1500 GMT). Confidence is seen rising to 72.9 from 71.2 last
month. Separately, the September CaseShiller read on home prices
is due at 9:00 a.m., with prices seen rising 0.8 percent.
* Trading is expected to be light this week, with many
traders out because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Markets will be
closed on Thursday and will close early on Friday. The light
action could amplify market volatility.
* S&P 500 futures dipped 0.5 point but remained 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 added 1
point and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.5 point.
* Wall Street has been on a tear recently, with both the Dow
and S&P 500 rising for seven straight weeks. The S&P is up 26.4
percent this year, while the Nasdaq moved above 4,000 on Monday
for the first time in 13 years.
* The gains have largely come on the back of expectations
for continued stimulus from the Federal Reserve, and while the
central bank's program is expected to provide a floor for equity
prices for as long as it continues, some recent market
volatility has been related to uncertainty over when the program
* The Fed has said it would begin to slow the program when
economic growth meets its targets, putting some of the market's
focus on data.
* In company news, sources familiar with the matter told
Reuters that at least six major private equity groups are
competing to buy the industrial packaging segment of Illinois
Tool Works Inc, in a deal that could fetch more than $3
* A U.S. judge has rejected Citigroup Inc's effort to
block the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority from seeking a second
arbitration over the sovereign wealth fund's $7.5 billion
investment in late 2007 to shore up the then-struggling bank.
* Macquarie raised its view on the coal sector, upgrading
Peabody Energy Corp to "outperform" from "neutral," and
boosting its price target on both Arch Coal Inc and
Cloud Peak Energy Inc.
* U.S. stocks closed little changed on Monday, with energy
shares pressured by a decline in oil prices, though Wal-Mart
Stores rose after naming a new chief executive.