At 0940 GMT (4:40 a.m. EST), futures for the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down between 0.2 and 0.5 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of leading European shares was down 0.5 percent at 1,013.95 points, with banks taking most off the index. The index is on course to register its fifth straight day of declines.
Quarterly results from Johnson & Johnson will show whether the diversified health care company's line of prescription drugs is rebounding from an earlier sales slump caused by generic competition for branded drugs that have lost patent protection.
Chemical maker DuPont
After the market closes, Yahoo's quarterly results are due as Chief Executive Carol Bartz continues to reorganize the company and shed assets one year into her turnaround effort.
Case/Shiller home price data for November is expected to show a slight rise of 0.1 percent versus October but a 5 percent drop-off from the same month a year ago.
The Federal Reserve begins its two day rate-setting meeting on Tuesday.
On Monday, U.S. stocks snapped a three-day slide as signs that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke would win a U.S. Senate vote for a second term helped ease investors' concerns.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.2 percent; the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 0.5 percent; the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 0.3 percent.
After the bell, shares in Apple Inc rose in extended trade after it reported sharply higher revenue and profits as the company moved to adopt new accounting standards for its iPhone. Apple shares in Frankfurt rose 1.7 percent.
Texas Instruments dipped in extended trade after results. The shares traded in Frankfurt slipped 0.3 percent.
Among other companies reporting results, shares in biotechnology company Amgen were little changed. VMWare jumped 9.2 percent.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei <.N225> fell 1.8 percent to a five-week closing low on Tuesday, with exporters hurt as the yen rose broadly after China implemented a previously ordered increase in reserve requirements for some banks.
Standard and Poor's ratings agency cut its outlook for Japanese government debt on Tuesday, citing reduced wriggle room on fiscal policy and voicing disappointment with the new government's budget consolidation plans. The move cane after Tokyo markets closed.
High public deficits could bring further ratings downgrades for euro zone countries, European Central Bank executive board member Juergen Stark said on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Brian Gorman; Editing by Greg Mahlich)