US STOCKS-Futures flat with Yellen on tap

martes 24 de febrero de 2015 08:51 GYT

* Yellen's two-day testimony before Congress to start at 10 a.m.

* Home Depot climbs in premarket after earnings, buyback

* Futures: Dow up 10 pts, S&P off 0.5 pt, Nasdaq off 2.25 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Tuesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 holding near record levels ahead of testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and a flurry of economic data.

* Yellen will give the central bank's semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT) in the first of two days of testimony. Investors will attempt to parse her commentary for clues on the timing of an interest rate hike in the wake of the dovish Fed minutes released last week.

* The latest indicator on the health of the housing market is due at 9 a.m. (1400 GMT) with the release of the S&P/Case Shiller home price index for December. Expectations call for a year-over-year increase of 4.3 percent, matching November's increase, which was the slowest rise since October 2012.

* Home Depot shares gained 3.5 percent to $116.20 after the home improvement retailer reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly same-store sales and said it would buy back $18 billion of its shares.

* On Monday the Nasdaq climbed for a ninth straight session, its longest winning streak since September 2010 to put the index within striking distance of the 5,000 mark, a level it has not reached since March 2000. The Dow and S&P 500 edged lower as energy shares weighed.   Continuación...