Stock futures pare gains after housing report, UPS warning

Stock futures cling to small gains, with the S&P and Dow each +0.1%, after housing starts topped estimates but building permits declined unexpectedly.

December industrial production rose 0.3%, in-line with consensus.

European markets were higher following surprisingly strong U.K. retail sales data but have faded and barely remain positive; Asia ended mostly lower.

UPS sharply cut Q4 EPS guidance, partly due to a shorter U.S. holiday season; Shell and Elizabeth Arden also issued warnings.

Earnings reports from Intel, AmEx, Capital One and SLM all fell short of Wall Street consensus, GE was in-line, and Morgan Stanley and Schlumberger posted beats.

Still ahead: consumer sentiment, job openings/labor turnover.

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