Wall Street eyes data for rate hike clues

Tesla & GM hold annual meetings today
Tesla & GM hold annual meetings today   

U.S. stocks were expected to open flat to a little lower on Tuesday as investors focused on data that could offer clues on the timing of a possible rise in U.S. interest rates.

Renewed talk of a rate rise this year following Friday's stronger-than-expected non-farm payrolls report has weighed on shares, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average down about 80 points on Monday.

Read MoreJob openings, turnover data to get a look

The April Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLT) survey is due out at 10 a.m. ET. The survey, which is closely followed by Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen, includes details on the state of the jobs market not highlighted by the monthly payrolls data, analysts say.

U.S. stock futures turned narrowly lower in London trade.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Getty Images
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Sandy Lincoln, chief market strategist at BMO Asset Management, told CNBC Asia that he thought concerns about a potential rate hike from the Fed were overdone.

"The U.S. equity market is flat year-to-date but it has withstood exogenous factors—we have good consumer confidence, balance sheets that are in good shape, payrolls that are strong, so we have the stage set for a solid economic recovery," he said.

In addition to the JOLTS report, wholesale inventories numbers are released at 10 a.m.

U.S. small business confidence increased to a five-month high in May of 98.3, the highest since December, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

The Treasury is scheduled to auction $24 billion 3-year notes. The 3-year note was yielding 1.027 percent in early trade, while the 10-year was yielding 2.38 percent.

Elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal reported that Greece and its international creditors were discussing an extension of the cash-strapped country's bailout program through to March 2016.

Read MoreGreece could get bailout extension to March 2016: Report

Most European stock markets were down, with HSBC in focus after the bank announced plans to cut costs by as much as $5 billion within two years and lay off as many as 25,000 staff. It also said it would sell its Turkey and Brazil operations.

Asian shares closed broadly lower, with Japan's blue-chip Nikkei down 1.76 percent as soft inflation data from China and jitters about higher U.S. interest rates weighed on sentiment.

Early on Tuesday, yogawear retailer Lululemon Athletica reported that its quarterly profit had more than doubled, thanks to a 6 percent rise in total comparable-store sales.

Read More Early movers: LULU, GE, PBY, CPB, HPQ, ZQK & more

Other companies reporting earnings this session include Hovnanian,Quiksilver, Burlington Stores, HD Supply Holdings and Greif.

General Motors holds an annual meeting at 8:45 a.m. and Tesla holds its annual meeting at 5 p.m.