NEW YORK -
Stocks were set for a slightly higher open on Tuesday, but caution prevailed as a Spanish bill auction met with falling demand and investors kept their focus on the euro zone debt crisis ahead of a summit later in the week.
Flagging optimism about the summit this week sent stocks lower in the prior session to put the S&P 500 near break-even for June, giving investors little cause to buy riskier assets.
"There is not a reason in the world to buy the market this morning, certainly nothing in the overnight that would suggest there is any kind of a good foundational reason to buy the market - even an oversold condition," said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Capital in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Spain's short-term borrowing costs nearly tripled at auction when the country sold 3.08 billion euros of its short-term debt, as the Treasury paid the highest rates to sell the paper since November.
Finance chiefs of the euro zone's four biggest economies will hold last-minute talks in Paris on Tuesday evening to discuss managing the crisis in the short term and proposals for closer long-term fiscal and banking integration in preparation for the summit on Thursday and Friday.
According to a document prepared for the meeting, European leaders will discuss specific steps toward a cross-border banking union, closer fiscal integration and the possibility of a debt redemption fund.
European shares were up slightly, with the FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> adding 0.2 percent. <.EU>
Cyprus became the latest euro zone member to ask for an aid package on Monday, adding to concerns about European leaders' ability to handle the crisis.
S&P 500 futures rose 2.6 points and were just above 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 rose 9 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 5 points.
The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas showed single-family home prices gained 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in April, the third climb in a row, topping economists' expectations of 0.4 percent.
At 10 a.m., the Conference Board releases its June consumer confidence report. Economists in a Reuters survey expect the main index to read 63.5 compared with 64.9 in May.
Goldman Sachs added JPMorgan Chase & Co
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Dave Zimmerman)