U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday as the fourth-quarter earnings season unofficially got started with a strong profit beat from Alcoa and as Europe rebounded from recent losses.

* Alcoa Inc , the first Dow component to report, posted a quarterly profit late Monday that topped expectations. The aluminum producer also reported revenue that beat estimates and forecast a 12 percent rise in demand this year.

* Stocks have rallied in recent weeks in part on optimism about a strong earnings season, and Alcoa's beat could reinforce that view. Alcoa shares dipped 0.7 percent to $16.38 in premarket trading after rising 25.5 percent since the start of December.

* Intel Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co are both slated to report later this week, while supermarket chain Supervalu Inc is the only S&P 500 component set to report on Tuesday.

* European shares rose 1 percent as reassuring comments from Portugal's prime minister eased worries about the country's debt level. U.S. and European stocks were pressured on Monday on concerns the country would need a bailout.

* S&P 500 futures rose 6.7 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 57 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 12.25 points.

* The S&P has found technical support near its 14-day moving average, which is around 1,264. The index closed at 1,269.75 on Monday.

* The Malaysian unit of Exxon Mobil Corp will invest $3.2 billion in new oil and gas assets, the government said. Shares of the Dow component closed Monday at $75.13.

* Chevron Corp , the second-largest U.S. oil company, was set to give an early look at its fourth-quarter production numbers, along with an indication of how quarterly results will look compared with the third quarter.

* U.S. wholesale inventories for November will be reported at 10 a.m. EST on an otherwise light day for economic indicators. Inventories were expected to gain 1.0 percent, after a 1.9 percent rise in October. Estimates for November ranged from 0.5-2.0 percent in a Reuters poll.

* On Monday, U.S. stocks recovered most of their early losses in light volume to end slightly lower as prospects for strong earnings helped counter worries about Portugal.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)