Futures Signal Slightly Lower Wall Street Open

US stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open for Wall Street Tuesday, as minimal losses ended four-day advances for the Dow and the S&P 500 and a six-day streak for the Nasdaq Monday.

European shares turned negative in mid-morning after a report on business morale in Germany hinted at a contraction for the first quarter, while Asian markets ended mixed.

In the US, a few key earnings and economic stats are likely to dictate the market's trend. Dow component Home Depot posted fourth-quarter earnings of 24 cents per share, beating estimates of 17 cents per shares. Its largest competitor, Lowe's, also beat estimates with its latest quarterly numbers.

Home Depot shares gained more than 1 percent in premarket trading.

Other morning earnings reports of note include Macy's, Medtronic, Medco Health, Office Depot, and Sears. Autodesk will report after the closing bell.


The latest reading on the housing market comes at 9 am, when the monthly Case-Shiller report is released. Economists think home prices in the 20 largest markets likely slipped 3.2 percent in December compared to a year earlier. Prices had a year-over-year drop of 5.3 percent in November.

The Conference Board releases its monthly consumer confidence index at 10 am, with consensus forecasts calling for a reading of 54.8. That would be a slight drop from last month's 55.9 reading.

The Treasury will sell $44 billion in 2-year notes, with results available shortly after 1 pm. It will follow up by selling $42 billion in 5-year notes tomorrow, and $32 billion in 7-year notes Thursday.

Tuesday marks the first of two days of Congressional hearings - involving different committees - on Toyota's recall issues. Toyota's top North American executive, Jim Lentz, will appear today, with President/CEO Akio Toyoda testifying on Wednesday. This comes as Toyota now faces a criminal probe in the U.S. over the handling of those recalls.

- Written by Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk.