Futures Fall as Dollar Rises on Euro Fears

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open Tuesday as the dollar firmed amid worries about the European debt crisis.

The US dollar index rose about 0.5 percent in morning trading and stock futures showed a corresponding decline the day after a big market rally. The euro hit a 12-month low against the greenback as fears grew that Greece's debt problems would spread to other countries.

Investors also braced for the next batch of corporate earnings and economic data to get further insight into the outlook for the economy.

Stock investors are torn between positive news emerging from corporate balance sheets and concerns over rising public deficits and unemployment, one market expert told CNBC.

"It's really a kind of balancing act between the short-term positive news coming from the corporate sector versus what might be in store," Sonja Schemmann, fund manager at Schroders, told CNBC.

"The drag on growth and spending going forward might be a drag on earnings as well… It's not just the Greeks that have to save money, it's every government around the world," she added.

The U.S. stock market continued to show post-selloff resilience Monday with the Dow wiping out almost all of Friday's 158-point loss. That was the Dow's biggest one-day gain since February 16, and follows a similar recovery after a 213-point drop in April 27.

Early earnings news helped allay some of the damage. Dow component Merck beat profit estimates though it offered a cautious outlook. Shares rose 1.7 percent in premarket trading.

European shares were lower as fears over contagion from the Greek debt crisis continued to shake confidence. Greece's fiscal recovery efforts were highlighted by the start of a 48-hour strike by Greek public sector workers. It's considered a key test of the government's ability to implement budget-cutting measures in return for aid from the EU and the IMF.

Asian shares ended mostly lower in the wake of a strong close on Wall Street.

Both of Tuesday's key economic data come after the opening bell at 10 am New York time, when pending home sales and factory orders, both for March, are released. Pending home sales are forecast to have risen 5.0 percent, following a gain of 8.2 percent in February, while economists are looking for a 0.1 percent drop in factory orders on the heels of a 0.6 percent rise in February.

After a Monday lull, the earnings calendar is busy Tuesday. It includes the latest quarterly figures from Archer-Daniels, Baker Hughes, CVS Caremark, Duke Energy, MasterCard, Marsh & McLennan, Pfizer and Molson Coors.

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
FISBX
---
TECM
---
CVS
---
DUK
---
MA
---
MMC
---
MRK
---
PFE
---
TAP
---

Also in earnings, Swiss bank UBS reported its strongest quarterly profit since the global financial crisis began. But expectations were already high for European banks and the market was disappointed with the results, sending US-traded shares of the company down 3.2 percent premarket.

The Gulf oil spill continued to grow as oil major BP continued to try and contain the damage. BP is building a relief well to contain the spill and is also giving millions of dollars to Gulf Coast states to move recovery efforts forward.

In other news, the Senate is set to cast its first votes on the financial regulation reform bill, with a number of amendments coming to the floor for discussion.

And a Pakistani-American has been arrested in connection with the failed car bombing attempt in New York's Times Square this past weekend as he attempted to board a flight to Dubai. Authorities said their investigation into the incident continues.