Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday as investors bet U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would shed light on plans to shore up the financial system a day after Wall Street slid to a 12-year low.

Investors, expected to hunt for bargains in beaten-down sectors, are also looking to congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the economy for direction.

Geithner, who has kept a low profile since outlining a bank rescue plan in early February, is expected to flesh out details of the Obama administration's plans to stabilize the financial sector when he testifies before a congressional panel.

Stocks to watch include General Motors and Ford as the troubled automakers are due to report February numbers after posting the lowest monthly sales rate in 27 years in January.

We are going to get some more commentary out of Geithner and maybe some more detail on the bank rescue so we'll see if that helps or if it hurts, said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co in Boston.

Today with a fresh look at where things have got to, where valuations have got to, there is a real possibility that we may be able to bounce.

S&P 500 futures rose 2.80 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 gained 20 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 5.25 points.

According to Reuters data, the S&P 500 <.SPX> will start Tuesday's session at its most oversold condition in 4 months, when measured by its 50-day relative strength index.

Bernanke is due to testify at 10 a.m. while Geithner's testimony on U.S. President Barack Obama's budget will start at 12.30 p.m.. Pending home sales data are due at 10 a.m..

U.S. stocks slid to 12-year lows on Monday as a record $61.7 billion quarterly loss for AIG and another government bailout for the embattled insurer heightened concern about the extent of the damage to the financial system.

(Editing by James Dalgleish)