In addition, rates worries, which caused routs in global stock and bond markets last week, will add to the gloom.
The futures contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average [s: $indu] last was 61 points lower at 13,495.
Futures contracts for the S&P 500 [s: $spx] and the Nasdaq 100 were 6.30 points lower at 1,518.90 and off 10.5 points at 1,920.0.
On Monday stocks gave a lackluster performance, with no official U.S. economic data and little major corporate news to budge the market. The Dow industrials rose 0.6 of a point, the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.4 points and the S&P 500 rose 1.5 points.
Wariness should prevail at Tuesday's opening.
"Stocks are still focused on interest rates, as evidenced by the inverse relationship to yields throughout yesterday's trading," said Marc Pado, chief U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald. "Yields started at their high and stocks opened near their lows."
News flow should be a bit livelier on Tuesday. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson this morning, in a speech on U.S. competitiveness, focused largely on Latin America. The department's semi-annual report on currency manipulation is due on Wednesday
There also will be speeches by Chicago Fed President Michael Moskow and Atlanta Fed chief Dennis Lockhart.
In addition, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, who is nearly as visible in retirement as he was in office, is set to speak.
The Treasury Department budget for May will be released at 2 p.m. Eastern.
Stocks in action
Shares of Lehman Brothers last were 1.3% higher at $76/70 in premarket electronic trade. The Wall Street Bank posted a 25% rise in quarterly revenue and earnings that outpaced the predictions of Wall Street analysts.
Texas Instruments Inc. late Monday reduced the top end of its second-quarter earnings forecast, citing weaker-than-expected sales of its calculators and wireless devices. The stock last was 2.5% lower at $34.91 before the bell.
Dow Jones Co. Inc. , the publisher of this report, is once more in the news. The Bancroft family, which controls a preponderance of the voting shares of the company's stock, is planning to send its suitor News Corp. a proposal for a board to safeguard The Wall Street Journal's editorial independence.
YouTube, which is being bought by Google Inc. , is going to test video fingerprinting technology to identify clips by companies like Time Warner Inc. and Walt Disney Co. .
In other technology developments, Apple Inc. is planning to launch a new version of its Safari browser, according to reports. The browser will run on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system.
Treasurys were under pressure after overnight news that in May China's inflation accelerated at its fastest pace in more than two years. The 10-year Treasury note fell 8/32 to 94-23/32 with a yield of 5.185%.
The dollar was little changed in the early going. Trade could be more active on Wednesday when the currency manipulation report comes out. The euro was last down 0.1% at $1.3339, while the dollar was up 0.03% at 121.79 yen.
Commodities were under pressure in early trade. The front-month crude contract last was off 41 cents at $65.56 an ounce as gold futures moved down $4.60 to $649.70 a barrel.
By Leslie Wines