Stock index futures pointed to a flat to higher open on Tuesday as strong earnings from Goldman Sachs lifted bank shares and, Johnson & Johnson results were slightly above forecast, while investors awaited U.S. retail sales for March.

Goldman Sachs posted a much higher-than-expected first-quarter profit, but said it planned a $5 billion common share sale to help pay back government funds. It's shares traded down around 2.6 percent before the bell.

Healthcare group Johnson & Johnson reported first quarter earnings of $1.26 per share compared with a Reuters estimate of $1.22 a share and $1.26 a year earlier. The company's shares rose nearly 2 percent in premarket trade.

On the macroeconomics front, March retail sales are due at 8.30 a.m. EDT, as are March producer price data.

We should see a little uptick in retail sales which should continue to boost investor confidence today, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York

Citigroup shares traded up 14.5 percent to $4.50 in premarket trade, while Bank of America rose 5 percent to $11.59. Goldman Sachs fell 1.6 percent to $128.01.

S&P 500 futures rose 2.9 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 rose 19 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 7.5 points.

Chipmaker Intel is set to kick off tech earnings season, with results eyed closely for guidance on the semiconductor market.

Investors will also be eyeing comments from U.S. Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke, who will give a lecture, entitled Four questions about the Financial Crisis, at 1.30 p.m. EDT in Atlanta, Georgia.

In other news, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that Chrysler's creditors planned to make a counteroffer to the U.S. Treasury this week in which they might ask for equity in a firm combining Chrysler with potential partner Fiat in exchange for concessions.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose on Monday as bets that major banks will post reassuring quarterly results fueled a run-up in financials, offsetting uneasiness about the fate of General Motors .

The Dow, however, slipped after Boeing said cuts in output of wide-body planes and lower-than-expected airplane prices would hurt first-quarter profit.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)