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US stock futures turn lower after housing starts, CPI

U.S. stock-index futures turned lower on Tuesday after economic reports had consumer prices rising and housing starts coming in below expectations.

The Commerce Department reported housing starts declined 6.5 percent in May, versus 12.7 percent in April.

"While the report is somewhat disappointing, it must be pointed out that activity remains exactly around the 1 million mark, which is a considerable improvement from the darkest days of the housing market's demise," Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers, said in an emailed note.

And the Labor Department's consumer price index jumped 0.4 percent in May.

The CPI number calls into doubt "whether the Fed can really wait until the middle of 2015 before raising interest rates. The inflation data may no longer give them such time and is the one thing that can muck up their exit plans," noted Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group.

Read MoreHousing starts fall as consumer prices log biggest jump in a year

Treasury prices fell along with stock futures, with the 10-year yield jumping 3 basis points to 2.631 percent.

Crude-oil futures dropped 50 cents to $106.40 a barrel and gold futures fell $10.30 to $1,265.00 an ounce.

Islamist militants took control of another Iraqi town, Saqlaqiya, on Monday, with the help of allied tribesmen. There were also reports of fighting south of Baghdad. The U.S. is reportedly considering air strikes to help Iraq fight off the rebels, but has ruled out coordinated military action with Iran.

Read MoreUS considers air strikes on Iraq, holds talks with Iran

Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine on Monday, after the two countries failed to agree on payment.

Concerns about Argentina also weighed on sentiment. The country faces default if it does not repay $1.3 billion by June 30, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled out an appeal against paying creditors.

U.S. stocks reversed losses on Monday to end mildly higher for a second consecutive session. This followed upbeat economic reports: May industrial production increased, home builder sentiment surged in June and the Empire State index of business conditions rose to a four-year high.

No major quarterly earnings are due before markets open, but Adobe Systems will report after Wall Street closes.

General Electric shares will be worth watching, after Siemens and Mitsubishi filed a joint rival bid for France's Alstom on Monday.

Also on Monday, the International Monetary Fund announced it had revised down its forecast for real growth in the U.S. for 2014 to 2 percent, after the sharper-than-expected slowdown in the first quarter.

Read MoreUS growth downgrade: What it means for rates

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato