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Stock index futures down; earnings eyed

    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange early in the trading session in New York Reuters – Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange early in the trading session in New York, January …
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stock index futures pointed to a weaker open on Wall Street on Tuesday, with futures for the S&P 500, for the Dow Jones and for the Nasdaq 100 down 0.1-0.2 percent.

    * The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee begins its two-day meeting on interest-rate policy. The Fed, in a statement due around 2:15 p.m. EST on Wednesday, was widely expected to acknowledge improving economic conditions marked by signs of life among consumers and factories.

    * At 7:45 a.m. EST, ICSC/Goldman Sachs will release chain store sales for the week ended January 22, versus the prior week. In the previous week, sales fell 0.1 percent.

    * BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), the world's largest asset manager, is expected to report healthy gains in fourth quarter profit and revenue on Tuesday, aided in no small measure by the global stock market rally.

    * Other major companies to report results on Tuesday include Yahoo (YHOO.O), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N), DuPont (DD.N), 3M Company (MMM.N) and Harley-Davidson (HOG.N).

    * At 8:55 a.m. EST, Redbook releases its Retail Sales Index of department and chain store sales for January versus December. In the prior period, sales were down 0.6 percent.

    * Britain is to give News Corp (NWSA.O) a final chance to avoid a prolonged and costly investigation into its proposed $12 billion buyout of BSkyB (BSY.L), in a move that is likely to draw criticism from rivals.

    * At 9 a.m. EST Standard & Poor's is set to release its S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index for November. Economists expect a drop of 0.8 percent versus a 1.0 percent fall in the previous month.

    * A package of U.S. tax cuts should give a lift to a global economic recovery that had already begun to gain speed late last year, the IMF said as it revised its world growth forecast higher.

    * At 10 a.m. EST, the Federal Housing Finance Agency issues Home Price Index for November. In October, the index rose 0.7 percent.

    * Also at 10 a.m. EST the Conference Board releases January consumer confidence. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 54.3 compared with 52.5 in December.

    * Resource-related stock will be in focus, with U.S. oil falling for a second straight session as an expected rise in U.S. stocks and a weak technical outlook weighed on prices.

    * The FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3) index of top European shares was flat in morning trade after gaining earlier in the session, while Japan's Nikkei average (.N225) ended 1.2 percent firmer.

    * On Monday the Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) ended up 108.68 points, or 0.92 percent, at 11,980.52. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (.SPX) was up 7.49 points, or 0.58 percent, at 1,290.84. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) was up 28.01 points, or 1.04 percent, at 2,717.55.

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Stock index futures down; earnings eyed

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