U.S. stock index futures edged lower ahead of the open Tuesday, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the psychologically important 11,000 mark Monday.
In corporate news, earnings season got underway Monday, with Dow component Alcoa matching profit estimates, but missing revenue forecasts for the first time since 2007.
Shares of the aluminum giant fell 2 percent in premarket trading as JPMorgan and UBS both weighed in with negative comments about the company. UBS cut its forecast for Alcoa while JPMorgan said little had changed since its downgrade last week.
The market's early mood also soured on a report from the National Federation of Independent Business which said its members have grown more pessimistic about the economy.
Futures also lost a few points after separate reports showed the US trade deficit widening in February and both import and export prices gaining 0.7 percent in March. The trade deficit was a bit worse than estimates while the gain in import prices was shy of expectations.
Toyota Motor shares also could be under more pressure after Consumer Reports rated the battered automaker's Lexus GX460 a "don't buy" based on a safety risk to its stability control system. Shares fell nearly 1 percent premarket after recovering some of their value with a 3.8 percent gain over the past month.
Asian markets closed lower in the wake of Wall Street's negative start to the week. European stocks were also lower with banking and commodity-related shares leading the declines.
Also in Europe, Greece was able to complete an auction of $1.63 billion in 52 and 26-week treasury bills. Yields were high at 4.85 percent for the 52-week bills, 4.55 percent for the 26-week bills, compared to 2.20 percent and 1.38 percent in the most recent auction of those securities.
Twitter will start rolling out advertising Tuesday, according to multiple reports. It's considered a significant step to making the service profitable, an obviously important step toward an eventual public offering.
On the economic calendar: the National Federation of Independent Business releases its monthly index of small business sentiment at 7:30 am New York time. The government is out with the February trade deficit and March import/export prices at 8:30 am.
Three Federal Reserve speakers are on the day's agenda, although two of them will speak after the markets have closed. Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo speaks in Washington at 10:45 am, while Chairman Ben Bernanke and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker have speaking engagements at 7 pm and 7:15 pm respectively.
Nokia is due to unveil three new cheaper phone models with full keyboards and messaging capability, as it hopes to challenge the dominance of Research-In-Motion's BlackBerry.
The most significant earnings reports of the day come after the closing bell, when Dow component Intel reports its quarterly numbers, along with Dow Transportation Index stock CSX .
- Written by Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk.