Stock index futures fell sharply on Tuesday after an unexpectedly low reading on growth in Germany held back the euro zone and rekindled fears the global economy was stagnant.

The German economy slowed between April and June to its weakest quarterly growth rate since 2009, fueling concerns about an European economy already weakened by a credit and debt crisis. German stocks fell 2.6 percent.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were to meet later Tuesday to discuss possible measures to contain Europe's fiscal crisis. A joint news conference was due at noon EDT.

S&P 500 futures fell 16.6 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 123 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 29.25 points.

On the earnings front, Home Depot Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its earnings forecast for the year.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Dell Inc were also due to report.

Resource-related shares might come under pressure as U.S. crude oil prices fell 1.4 percent and copper was also down 1.4 percent.

U.S. data coming later includes the Commerce Department's release of housing starts and permits for July and the Labor Department's report on import-export prices for the same month, both at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

The U.S. Federal Reserve releases industrial production and capacity utilization data for July at 9:15 a.m. EDT.

Wall Street stocks rose for a third day on Monday as investors used Google Inc's offer to buy phonemaker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc as an excuse to jump back into the market after weeks of sharp selling.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)