U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Tuesday as investors braced for aluminum producer Alcoa's
* At 4:45 a.m. EDT, futures for the S&P 500 were down 0.9 percent, Dow Jones futures were down 0.8 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.7 percent.
* European shares surrendered initial gains and turned negative in morning trade on Tuesday, down 1.1 percent.
* On the macro side, the Bank of Japan unveiled further steps to ease credit strains on Tuesday, while Australia's central bank cut its key cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.00 percent, the sixth easing in eight months.
* Toxic debts racked up by banks and insurers could spiral to $4 trillion, new forecasts from the International Monetary Fund are set to suggest, British daily The Times reported on its website without citing sources. The IMF said in January that it expected the deterioration in U.S.-originated assets to reach $2.2 trillion by the end of next year.
* A half-dozen bidders have emerged for American International Group Inc's
* General Motors Corp's
* Ford Motor Co
* A major client for Applied Materials Inc's
* Bank of America's
* U.S. shares snapped a four-session winning run on Monday after a prominent analyst reignited fears over the health of banks and the potential collapse of a takeover of Sun Microsystems bruised sentiment in the technology sector.
* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 41.74 points, or 0.52 percent, to 7,975.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> lost 7.02 points, or 0.83 percent, to 835.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 15.16 points, or 0.93 percent, at 1,606.71.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; editing by John Stonestreet)