* Futures: Dow off 2 pts, S&P off 1 pt, Nasdaq up 0.5 pt
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were
little changed on Friday ahead of a flurry of economic data,
with the S&P within 2 points of an all-time closing high.
* Due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) are the February consumer
price index and the Empire State Manufacturing survey for March.
* Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 0.5 percent rise
in CPI, against an unchanged reading in January. Excluding
volatile food and energy items, CPI is seen up 0.2 percent
compared with a 0.3 percent rise in January. The Empire State
survey is expected to show a reading of 10 for March compared
with 10.4 in February.
* Encouraging labor market data helped the Dow Jones
Industrial Average extend its winning streak to 10 days
on Thursday, while the benchmark S&P index finished just
shy of its all-time closing high of 1,565.15.
* Improving economic data and expectations the Federal
Reserve will continue its easy monetary policy have helped boost
the Dow by nearly 11 percent and the S&P by 9.6 percent this
year so far, with no major pullbacks.
* S&P 500 futures shed 1 point and were slightly
below 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 dipped
2 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.5 point.
* Industrial production and capacity utilization data for
February are due at 9:15 a.m. (1315 GMT). Economists in a
Reuters survey expect a 0.4 percent rise in production and a
reading of 79.3 percent for capacity utilization.
* Later at 9:55 a.m. (1355 GMT), the Thomson
Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary March consumer
sentiment index will be released. A reading of 78.0 is expected
compared with 77.6 in the final February report.
* The Federal Reserve told Goldman Sachs Group Inc
and JPMorgan Chase & Co that they must fix flaws in how
they determine capital payouts to shareholders, but still
approved their plans for share buybacks and dividends.
* A Senate report also alleged JPMorgan ignored risks,
misled investors, fought with regulators and tried to work
around rules as it dealt with mushrooming losses in a
* JPMorgan shares dipped 2 percent to $49.98 in
light premarket trading. Rival Bank of America rose 3.8
percent to $12.57 before the opening bell.
* Ulta Salon slumped 11.9 percent to $77.88 in
premarket trading after the beauty products retailer forecast
first-quarter profit below Wall Street estimates, despite strong
* European shares were little changed, holding near recent
highs, thanks to central bank stimulus and an improving U.S.
economy on what could be a choppy trading day due to a big