* Home Depot shares slip after results
* German analyst and investor sentiment up in November
* Futures: Dow off 2 pts, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 2 pts (Updates prices, adds comment, byline)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open little changed on Tuesday, setting the S&P 500 up to hold near its record close from the previous session, as an increase in producer prices failed to cut into a trend of benign inflation.
Shares in Europe advanced, boosted by German analyst and investor sentiment, which rose in November for the first time in almost a year, raising hopes of an improvement in Europe’s biggest economy.
More support for equities came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for parliament to be dissolved on Friday, seen potentially bringing more stimulus after the Japanese economy unexpectedly slipped into recession.
The S&P 500 has risen in seven of the last eight sessions, but its largest gain was of less than 0.4 percent and overall volume has been low.
“The idea that stocks have just had a really good run and people are unwilling to easily commit new money to it” is keeping the market in a tight range according to Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.
“Given where interest rates are, people are also unwilling to take money off the table,” he said.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were down less than a point and fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract, indicated a flat open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures fell 2 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 2 points.
Chinese solar company JA Solar Holdings reported its fourth straight quarterly profit, sending its shares up 8.3 percent in premarket trading.
Solar company SunEdison rose 13 percent premarket as it announced that, together with its unit TerraForm Power , it would buy First Wind for $2.4 billion to enter the U.S. wind power market.
Shares of Home Depot fell 1.9 percent premarket after the world’s No.1 home improvement chain reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.
CytRx Corp shares fell 12.3 percent premarket after the drugmaker said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed a partial hold on clinical trials of its experimental cancer drug after a patient died.
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Nick Zieminski