US STOCKS-Futures flat at the start of holiday shopping season
* Futures: Dow down 5 pts, S&P up 1.5 pts, Nasdaq up 13.75 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
Nov 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday, with traders focusing to the crucial U.S. holiday shopping season, which starts around Thanksgiving.
* Trading is expected to be quiet with the U.S. market scheduled to close at 1 p.m. ET (1700 GMT). The market was shut on Thursday for Thanksgiving.
* The shopping season spanning November and December is crucial for many retailers because the two months can account for anywhere between 20 percent and 40 percent of annual sales.
* However, shoppers are expected to be cautious with their spending again this year. The National Retail Federation is expecting holiday sales to rise 3.7 percent, slower than last year's 4.1 percent increase, due to stagnant wages and sluggish job growth.
* Global markets were mainly lower, with the Chinese markets registering their biggest one-day drop in more than three months, due to regulatory worries and a slowdown in profits at big industrial firms.
* On Wednesday, U.S. indexes were virtually unchanged at the close of a quiet trading day on Wednesday with gains in healthcare and consumer stocks after data showed modest economic growth.
* Crude oil futures were lower on Friday, bringing losses this month to close to 9 percent, as disappointing Chinese data and worries over a supply glut overshadowed geopolitical concerns. Continuación...