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Futures mildly lower; Fed, data eyed

U.S. stock index futures crept lower early on Tuesday, following Asian and European shares downwards, after a weak close on Wall Street on Monday.

Import prices declined 0.5 percent in October, while export prices fell 0.2 percent.

Wholesale trade is due later in the morning. In addition, the Treasury will sell $24 billion in benchmark 10-year notes.

Of likely interest will be a speech from Charles Evans, a member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), who has historically been dovish.

Charles Evans, president of Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Melody Hahm | CNBC
Charles Evans, president of Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

U.S. earnings due during the day include DR Horton and Beazer Homes.

Early on Tuesday, markets digested a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that forecast the price of oil would reach just $80 per barrel by 2020, "with further increases in price thereafter."

In addition, top credit ratings agency, Moody's, reported that the world economy's ability to fight any future shocks would be hampered by years of ultra-low interest rates and high-profile liquidity injections.

Major U.S. averages posted their biggest decline in six weeks on Monday, down around 1 percent, as investors pondered the odds of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in December, as well as weak data from China.

"We think the performance of the U.S. stock market will be lackluster next year as the Fed tightens policy, even though an improving economy in the U.S. and stabilization in China should prevent a crash (our end-2016 forecast for the S&P 500 is 2,200, versus 2,080 or so now). Against this backdrop, we suspect that US investors will seek out better returns elsewhere," John Higgins, chief markets economist at Capital Economics, said in a report out Monday.

— By CNBC's Katy Barnato. Follow her on Twitter @KatyBarnato.