U.S. stock futures on Tuesday pointed to an uncertain start after two sessions of losses, with the housing sector in renewed focus ahead of housing starts data.

Dow Jones futures were recently up 9 points, S&P 500 futures rose 1.5 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures eased 1.2 points.

The U.S. markets were coming off a negative session, with the Dow industrials losing 72 points, the Nasdaq Composite off 19 points and the S&P 500 down 11 points, with interest rate and economic growth concerns still hovering over the market.

The National Association of Home Builders' June index dropped four points to 42, the lowest level since April 1995, pressuring U.S. home builders.

May housing starts will be the key economic report of Tuesday, with analysts polled by MarketWatch seeing starts edge up to 1.86 million from 1.85 million last month. That data is due out at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

Wall Street's negative tone was picked up in overseas markets on Tuesday, with the Nikkei 225 sliding 1.4 percent in Tokyo and the FTSE 100 down 0.3 percent in London.

The dollar lost ground against the Japanese yen following comments from Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui that the BoJ needs to take a proactive approach toward monetary policy and warned keeping rates low for too long could unsettle the economy.

Fukui, facing calls to resign over his investment in a fund run by the now-arrested Yoshiaki Murakami, also pledged to return 30 percent of his salary for the next six months.

Crude oil futures bounced back in electronic trade, with the July contract - due for expiration later in the day - up 60 cents to $69.58 a barrel. The Chinese government agreed to use Saudi Arabian oil in its strategic reserves.

The Kroger Co. and Apollo Group headline a quiet day for earnings news.

Ford Motor Co. said it expected 10,000 to 11,000 hourly workers at its U.S. plants to accept early retirement and other buyout offers by the end of the year, the Los Angeles Times reported in its Tuesday editions.

General Electric agreed to pay $390 million for Biacore International, a Swedish maker of machines that study protein interactions. Pfizer Inc., which holds 41 percent of Biacore, accepted the GE offer.

McDonald's will partner with Sinopec to build a network of drive-through restaurants in mainland China.

Shares of McDonald's supplier Enodis reached a new 52-week high in London, at 211.25 pence, following a report in the Financial Times that Middleby Corp. may increase its offer for Enodis.

Costco Wholesale received an upgrade to overweight by J.P. Morgan on second-half comparable sales hopes, while E.W. Scripps was downgraded to hold at Deutsche Bank on concerns over Food Network ratings and decelerating cable network advertising growth.