(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on the Wall Street ahead of readings on consumer confidence and house prices.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures shed 21 points to 13,086. The Nasdaq futures lost 4.50 points to 2,778.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures edged 3.00 points lower to 1,405.30.
On the economic front, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index due at 10 a.m. ET is expected to inch higher to 66 in August from 65.9 in July.
At 9.00 a.m., the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index may show a 0.3 percent drop for the month of June following a drop of 0.7 percent in May.
On Monday, U.S. stocks ended on a mixed note as investors look ahead to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech later this week for any hints about whether the central bank will take further measures to stimulate growth.
Bernanke will speak in the Fed's annual symposium Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday, while European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is expected address the conference on Saturday.
Markets may also focus on data due this week including: personal income and spending, pending home sales, weekly jobless claims, the preliminary second quarter GDP estimate and factory orders.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: PVH, LXK, MCP, GILD, SAFM, DEPO
In corporate news, PVH Corp. (NYSE:PVH) advanced 6.29 percent after the apparel company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by higher sales from its Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein divisions and it raised its full-year forecast.
Lexmark International Inc. (NYSE:LXK) rose 1.95 percent in premarket after the printer maker announced it will reduce roughly 1,700 jobs worldwide and stop making inkjet hardware as part of a move to cut costs and focus on higher value imaging and software services.
Molycorp Inc. (NYSE:MCP) added 4.20 percent after rare earth oxide (REO) producer said it has commenced operations at a new California mine and added it remains on track to achieve full Phase 1 production rates at Mountain Pass facility in the fourth quarterof this year.
Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) announced that the U.S. health regulators approved its Stribild tablet to treat HIV.
Forest Laboratories Inc. (NYSE:FRX) said its has adopted a stockholder-rights plan after activist investor Carl Icahn raised his stake in the company recently.
Sanderson Farms Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) jumped 7.02 percent in premarket after the Laurel, Mississippi-based company swung to a third-quarter profit as sales jumped amid higher market prices for poultry products.
Depomed Inc. (NASDAQ:DEPO) rose 6.46 percent in premarket after the pharmaceutical company said it has licensed rights to its Acuform drug delivery technology to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). Depomed will receive an upfront payment of $10 million and it will also receive a low single digit royalty on sales of JNJ's pain treatment Nucynta in the U.S., Canada, and Japan.
European markets traded lower, with Germany's DAX retreating 0.57 percent to trade at 7,007.29. France's CAC40 lost 0.70 percent to trade at 3,438.73. U.K.'s FTSE 100 shed 0.24 percent to trade at 5,762.58.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index added 0.85 percent to finish at 2,073.15. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.57 percent to end at 9,033.29. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index inched up 0.07 percent to end at 19,811.80. India's BSE Sensex closed at 17,631.71, down 0.27 percent.
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures added 0.63 percent to $96.07 per barrel. Gold futures shed 0.47 percent to $1,667.8 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro added 0.33 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2540, while the British pound slipped 0.08 percent to 1.5781. The dollar declined 0.25 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.5400.