U.S. stock futures pointed to a firmer open on Tuesday, rebounding from the prior day's sharp losses, ahead of December factory data and with two Federal Reserve speakers on tap.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 63 points, or 0.4%, to 15355, while those for the S&P 500 index gained 9.90 points, or 0.6%, to 1742.50. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index added 14 points, or 0.4%, to 3444.00.
The moves came after steep declines posted Monday, when both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day with their biggest loss since June. The selloff was spurred by much-weaker-than-expected manufacturing data from the U.S., as well as concerns over a slowdown in China driven by mediocre reports on that country's services and manufacturing sectors.
But even with stocks on track for a positive day on Tuesday, some analysts worried that more losses could be on the cards.
"With investors increasingly wary about whether this is the start of a prolonged bear market rather than just a correction, bargain hunters are in short supply, and with demand waning, the only way for [the] markets is down," said Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, in a note.
The data calendar was relative quiet on Tuesday, with only factory orders out at 10 a.m. EST likely to get attention. Orders for goods rose 1.8% in November, but economists surveyed by MarketWatch. Later in the week, the pace of data releases picks up, with the ISM services index and ADP jobs reports out Wednesday, and the closely watched nonfarm-payrolls report out Friday.
The earnings list was also fairly light, meaning investors could struggle to find distraction from economic data.
CME Group Inc. is slated to release quarterly results, and the exchange operator is expected to post fourth-quarter earnings of 67 cents a share, according to a consensus survey by FactSet.
Archer Daniels Midland Co. is projected to report fourth-quarter earnings of 85 cents a share, while Sirius XM Holdings Inc. is likely to post fourth-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share.
Yum Brands Inc. was likely to be active after the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut said late Monday its fourth-quarter earnings fell to 70 cents a share from 72 cents a share a year ago. However, the company earned 86 cents a share on an adjusted basis, better than the average of 79 cents projected in a FactSet survey.
Two Fed speakers were also on the lineup for Tuesday. Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker speaks about the economic outlook at 8:30 a.m. EST, and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans addresses potential policy challenges for 2014 at 12:30 p.m. EST. Neither is a voting members of the Fed's policy committee this year.
In other financial markets, European stocks headed for a third straight day of losses, while Asian bourses closed in deep red. Oil rebounded ahead of inventory data, while gold moved lower. In currencies, the Australian dollar climbed against the U.S. dollar after the country's central bank indicated it is no longer leaning toward cutting interest rates.