US Markets

Futures lower as oil slides; Yellen speech in focus

Stock futures steady ahead of Yellen speech

U.S. stock index futures indicated a lower open on Tuesday as a decline in oil prices weighed. Investors awaited a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that could give further indications as to the timing of the next interest rate hike.

U.S. crude oil futures traded more than 2.5 percent lower near $38.30 a barrel as of 9:01 a.m. ET. The U.S. dollar index traded lower and Treasury yields edged lower, with the 2-year yield near 0.85 percent.

Yellen is set to deliver a speech on the "Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy" at the Economic Club of New York starting at 12:20 p.m. ET, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session. Investors will be combing through the Fed chair's comments for any details that could shed light on the timing of the Fed's next interest rate hike.

Central bank-watchers will also keep an eye on Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan who is set to deliver speeches in Austin, Texas at both the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the McCombs School of Business at 1 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET, respectively.

John Williams, President & CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, told CNBC on Monday that the U.S. economy was doing "quite well," pointing to stable inflation and strong employment growth.

John Williams, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Fed's Williams: US doing fine, world isn't

"The real issue is the global financial and economic developments, there's uncertainty about what's happening around the world and how that feeds back to the dollar and the U.S. economy," he told 'Asia Squawk Box.'

On the data front, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index for January showed a 5.7 percent rise from the previous year.

March consumer confidence figures are set to be released at 10 a.m. ET.

U.S. stocks closed mixed Monday in low volume trade as investors eyed oil prices. The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 closed mildly higher while the Nasdaq composite ended lower. The major averages steadied after a knee-jerk reaction to afternoon reports of gunshots in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. One person was in custody and injuries were limited. The situation returned to normal relatively quickly.

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On Tuesday morning, European shares were mixed in the first day of trade after the Easter break. Most Asian markets were lower Tuesday ahead of key U.S. data later this week.

—CNBC's Patti Domm and Kalyeena Makortoff contributed to this article.