The U.S. stock index futures point to a lower open Tuesday as investors continue to worry that the looming fiscal cliff will have a marked impact on the economic recovery.

The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.06 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.17 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.18 percent. 

On Monday, the U.S. stocks fell as investor sentiment turned negative in the absence of any progress in the fiscal cliff talks between President Barack Obama and the Congressional leaders.

Meanwhile, according to the data released Monday by the Institute of Supply Management, the manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index contracted in November to 49.5, down from 51.7 in October.  Significantly, the index moved into the contraction zone, a reading below 50. The contraction of the manufacturing activity would increase the fears about a sharp retardation of the economy.

“What’s more, the ISM put little emphasis on Sandy in its written report. Instead, it noted that there was concern over how and when the fiscal cliff issue will be resolved. The global economy can’t be blamed either as the euro-zone and China PMIs have continued to rise. As such, this survey may indicate that businesses are concerned enough about the fiscal cliff to put spending and hiring decisions on hold,” Capital Economics said in a note.

Autodata Corp reported Monday the total vehicle sales in November which rose to 15.50 million in the month from 14.23 million in October.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.46 percent, the S&P 500 Index was down 0.47 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.27 percent.

Most of the Asian stocks fell Tuesday as unexpected drop of the U.S. manufacturing PMI and lack of progress on the fiscal cliff issue weighed on the investor sentiment.

South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index fell 4.84 points, Japan’s Nikkei was down 25.72 points and India’s Sensex dropped 20.89 points.  

European markets were mixed Tuesday following the global cues. Meanwhile, focus is on the EcoFin meeting in Brussels Tuesday in which European Union finance ministers are expected to discuss a number of banking and institutional issues. London's FTSE 100 was down 11.31 points, Germany's DAX 30 index fell 3.45 points and France's CAC 40 gained 11.06 points.