Wall Street was a little indecisive before trading Tuesday, with stock index futures little changed. The market is coming off a strong first day of trading for 2010, with the Dow up about 1.5 percent.
Investors will likely take their cue from economic reports scheduled for the morning.
Appropriately enough, one of the market drivers will be December auto sales, forecast to come in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 10.9 million vehicles, which would match the November rate. Ford will be the first of the big U.S. automakers to report at approximately 12 noon New York time.
The National Association of Realtors will be out with pending home sales for November, with forecasts calling for a drop of 5 percent for the month. That would follow a gain of 3.7 percent in October. That's out at 10 am, along with the government's November report on factory orders. Economists think factory orders rose 0.5 percent for November, following a 0.6 percent increase in October.
Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig has the day's only scheduled Fed appearance, making a morning speech in Atlanta at 8 am.
In early stock movements, Radio Shack shares jumped nearly 7 percent after Goldman Sachs raised the electronics retailer to a buy rating and pushed its price target to $25 from $21.
Investors will follow the continuing saga of Kraft and Cadbury this morning: Kraft raised the cash portion offer for Cadbury, using funds from a $3.7 billion dollar sale of its pizza business toNestle. Cadbury quickly rejected the new offer.
Nokia launched yet another patent lawsuit against Apple, as a legal battle between the two escalates over patents used in its iPod and iPhone products. All this comes on a significant day for the smartphone market, as Google is expected to unveil the long-anticipated "Nexus One" smartphone at an event at its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters.