Stock futures inch forward as investors await catalyst

Stock futures are on track for a modestly higher open in what shapes up as a quiet day of trading, with global markets unable to find any real direction and the economic data calendar light; S&P and Dow +0.1%, Nasdaq +0.2%.

European markets, more mindful of the Ukraine situation than the U.S., are mostly lower; Asian markets ended mostly higher, with the Nikkei +0.7% after the Bank of Japan left its easy money policy unchanged.

With earnings season over, investors are looking for signs to suggest the economy is coming out of the weather-related slowdown of the last couple of months, and many observers see stocks stuck in a trading range for a while.

Treasurys have alternated between slim gains and losses for the past hour, with the 10-year yield hovering near 2.78%.

Still ahead: wholesale inventories.

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