On the economic front, the Commerce Department is scheduled to report factory orders at 10 am ET. Economists polled by Reuters expect a gain of 2.9 percent, according to a Reuters survey, after a 2 percent decline in January.
In addition, March auto and truck sales data will be reported throughout the day. Sales of new cars and trucks are expected to rise 8 percent to 1.465 million, giving an annual rate of 15.3 million vehicles, according to J.D. Power and Associates and LMC Automotive.
In Europe, Markit's euro zone manufacturing PMI index for March came in at 46.8, indicating an ongoing decline in the single currency zone. However, the reading topped an earlier Reuters estimate of 46.6 and investors were relieved troubles in Cyprus appeared not to have impacted the economy significantly.
(Read More: Cyprus Plans Tax Breaks, Casinos to Kickstart Economy)
"It now looks odds-on that the euro zone suffered further GDP contraction in the first quarter of 2013, likely around 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter, while the increased drop in orders and declining back logs of work does not bode at all well for second quarter prospects," Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight, said in a research note.
Apple edged lower after Goldman Sachs removed the iPhone maker from its "conviction buy" list, although the brokerage still rates the stock a "buy." Goldman said the most recent product cycle hasn't provided the boost for Apple that it had expected.
And Hewlett-Packard slumped after Goldman Sachs has cut its rating on the tech company to "sell" from "neutral," saying sentiment about the company has moved ahead of reality.
Qualcomm rose after Raymond James upgraded the semiconductor company to "strong buy" from "outperform."
Meanwhile, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch downgraded Goldman Sachs to "neutral" from "buy" on a valuation basis.
And Stifel Nicolaus downgraded Texas Instruments to "hold" from "buy," citing a near-term slowdown in orders for the chipmaker.