U.S. stock index futures were higher Tuesday amid expectations the Spanish government will soon request a bailout, a step necessary to alleviate the euro zone's debt crisis.
Spain is expected to request a bailout as early as next weekend, although Germany is urging Spain to wait, according to a Reuters report. Economic woes in the country continued to weigh as the latest jobs figures showed unemployment rose again last month.
Stocks initially opened higher Monday as investors cheered a better-than-expected ISM manufacturing report, but eventually retreated to end mixed after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke expressed his lingering concerns about economic growth in the U.S.
Earlier, the Reserve Bank of Australia kicked off this week’s central bank meetings, surprising the markets by cutting its benchmark rate to 3.25 percent. The Australian dollar fell to a four week-low.
The European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan all meet later this week.
No major U.S. economic reports are scheduled Tuesday, but automakers including GeneralMotors , Ford and Toyota are poised to post monthly auto sales throughout the day.