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Futures hold lower after durable goods

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat to lower open on Tuesday ahead of a hectic day of data releases, following the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Investors will keep a close eye on the data for indicators as to when the Federal Reserve could start hiking interest rates. On Friday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen suggested a hike would be appropriate this year if the economy improves. She noted that first quarter weakness was largely transitory, but that it would take several years for rates to return to normal.

Durable goods for April came in half a percent lower, roughly in-line with expectations. Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, rose 1.0 percent last month after an upwardly revised 1.5 percent increase in March.

Futures edged lower after the report. The U.S. 2-year Treasury yield jumped to 0.64 percent. The euro dipped below $1.09 as the U.S. dollar continued to strengthen.

The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 5 percent in March on a year-over-year basis, matching February's gain. The March reading topped a Reuters poll of economists that forecast a rise of 4.7 percent.

New home sales figures for April come at 10.00 a.m.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence report is slated for 10.00 a.m.

U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said market watchers focus too much on the importance of the Fed's first interest rate hike since the process of returning to a more normal level will take a few years. Fischer, speaking in Israel on Monday, said observers should instead think more about where interest rates are headed over time. He said Fed economists expect the rate will reach from 3.25 percent to 4 percent in three to four years.

Earnings due on Tuesday include AutoZone before market open, with Workday and TiVo due after the bell.

In corporate news, Charter Communications said it would purchase Time Warner Cable for $55 billion, valuing each share around $195.71. The deal merges the second and third largest U.S. cable companies and creates a greater rival for Comcast Corp.

Qualcomm has struck a mobile technology partnership with automaker Daimler, involving the recharging of mobile devices as well as electric cars.

Apple named senior vice president of design Jony Ive to the newly created position of Chief Design Officer.

BlackBerry will lay off an unknown number of workers in its device business, according to Re/Code.

Priceline Group will invest an additional $250 million in Ctrip.com, the China-based online travel company.

L Brands became the latest addition to Goldman Sachs' "conviction buy" list, calling the Victoria's Secret parent one of the highest quality growth companies in consumer retailing.

Twitter has held talks to acquire news app Flipboard in a stock deal that would value the news app at more than $1 billion, according to Re/Code.

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Europe markets fluctuated in morning trade on Tuesday with investors reacting to earnings and concerns that Greece was finally about to default on its loan repayments.

The country needs urgent financial aid to repay a loan due next week to the International Monetary Fund and to pay wages and pensions, the government said on Monday.

CNBC's Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.

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