Futures shaved their losses Tuesday following a parade of better-than-expected economic news, but gains were limited amid ongoing worries over the euro zone crisis.
Stocks tumbled in Europe, adding to the previous session's decline, as investors continued to worry about the southern European countries' ability to tackle their debt problems and prevent their borrowing costs from rising.
New Italian Prime Minister-designate Mario Monti is scheduled to meet the leaders of Italy's biggest two parties to discuss the "many sacrifices" needed to reverse the collapse in market confidence that's driving the euro zone debt crisis.
Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in October as strong receipts from motor vehicle and building material dealers offset the drag from service stations, according to the Commerce Department. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales climbing 0.3 percent last month.
A gauge of manufacturing in New York state rose to 0.61 in November, ending five straight months of contraction, while the outlook for coming months strengthened, according to the New York Federal Reserve. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a reading of minus 2.1.
Meanwhile, producer prices fell 0.3 percent in October, its first decline in four months, amid lower prices for gasoline and consumer goods, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Reuters had expected prices to slip 0.1 percent.