By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

Dow 20,000 remains elusive for traders

U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat start for Wall Street on Tuesday, with many traders still away for the Christmas break, and a week looming that's scant on economic data.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures futures slipped 10 points to 19,864, while S&P 500 futures fell 1.25 points to 2,258.75. Nasdaq-100 futures fell 1.5 points to 4,940.75.

Ahead of the extended holiday break, the Dow industrials booked the seventh straight weekly gain (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-point-to-holiday-induced-slumber-but-banks-may-be-on-the-move-2016-12-23) in mutedtrade on Friday. The Dow and S&P 500 each rose 0.1% on Friday, while the Nasdaq-100 gained 0.3%.

Investors might be forgiven for cashing out on a year that surprised many with a late run of gains following the U.S. presidential election. The Dow is up 14.6% with just a few days left to trade in 2016. The S&P 500 is up 4.4% and the Nasdaq Composite has gained 2.8% year to date.

The Dow has come close to the all-time high, and psychologically significant, 20,000, but that level remains elusive.

Read: Growing signs that the Dow might not make it to 20,000 by the end of 2016 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-20000-isnt-a-foregone-conclusion-in-2016so-dont-break-out-the-bubbly-2016-12-22)

For Tuesday, Case-Shiller home prices for October are due at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, while consumer confidence data for December is scheduled for 10 a.m. Eastern.

"The Conference Board consumer confidence index is already at the highest level sincebefore the 2008 financial crisis and is expected to rise further. That would be a positive indication of the 'Trump effect' on the financial markets," said Marshall Gittler, head of investment research at FXPrimus, in a note to clients on Tuesday.

Opinion: What this week's stock market will tell you about 2017 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-this-weeks-stock-market-will-tell-you-about-2017-2016-12-26)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-this-weeks-stock-market-will-tell-you-about-2017-2016-12-26)Among stocks to watch for Tuesday, retailers Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.(WMT) might be in focus given postholiday Christmas shopping, and as indications crop up showing just how well they fared over the season.

Across other markets, Asian stocks had a largely lackluster session (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-stocks-trade-mixed-toshiba-takes-a-hit-over-loss-report-2016-12-27), while European equities traded mostly flat (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-struggle-for-direction-in-first-day-of-post-christmas-trade-2016-12-27). London markets remain closed for an extended Christmas break.

Opinion:New Year's Resolutions: What money pros vow to do better in 2017 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-years-resolutions-what-money-pros-vow-to-do-better-in-2017-2016-12-26)

Crude prices posted moderate gains (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-steady-as-investors-wait-for-production-cuts-to-roll-out-2016-12-27), while gold and silver prices moved higher. The dollar inched up against major rivals (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-inches-up-as-market-keeps-a-close-eye-on-trumps-economic-plans-2016-12-27).

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 27, 2016 06:33 ET (11:33 GMT)

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