US STOCKS-Futures flat with Yellen on tap

* 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) – Dow 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.

* Other data expected on Tuesday includes the flash Markit services PMI at 9:45 a.m. (1445 GMT). February consumer confidence along with readings on the services sectors from the Richmond and Dallas Fed are due at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT).

* Comcast Corp, the largest U.S. cable operator, posted fourth-quarter revenue that marginally beat estimates and boosted its buyback program to $ 10 billion.

* Also expected to post earnings on Monday were Macy’s and Hewlett-Packard.

* Greece’s new government sent a letter sent to Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem late on Monday, laying out in broad terms the reforms Athens plans to implement by July in order to secure a four-month extension to its bailout program.

* In Europe, Greek shares rallied to outpace modest gains in pan-European indexes after Athens delivered its list of economic reforms.

* Asian markets crept higher as Tokyo rose for a fifth straight day to notch another 15-year peak and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched up 0.05 percent.

Futures snapshot at 7:35 a.m. EST (1235 GMT):

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.5 points, or 0.02 percent, with 69,047 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 2.25 points, or 0.05 percent, in volume of 9,747 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were up 10 points, or 0.06 percent, with 11,183 contracts changing hands.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Dow Futures

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