Stock index futures pointed to a weaker open for equities on Wall Street on Tuesday, with futures for the S&P 500, for the Dow Jones and for the Nasdaq 100 down 0.6 to 1.0 percent.

The Commerce Department releases housing starts and permits for July at 1230 GMT. Economists forecast a fall to a 600,000 annualized rate from 629,000 in June, and a total of 605,000 permits in July compared with 617,000 in the prior month.

At 8:30 a.m. EDT, the Labor Department releases import-export prices for July. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a 0.1 percent drop in import prices and a 0.1 percent rise in export prices. In the prior month, import prices fell 0.5 percent and export prices rose 0.1 percent.

On the earnings front, the focus will be on Dell's results. Wall Street has priced in a profit of 49 cents per share, up from 32 cents one year ago. Investors will try to get hints for any acquisition plans after Google acquired Motorola Mobility Holdings for $12.5 billion.

Other major companies announcing results include Wal-Mart and Home Depot.

ICSC/Goldman Sachs release at 7:45 a.m. EDT chain store sales for the week ended Aug 13, versus the prior week when sales fell 0.5 percent.

Resource-related shares might come under pressure as crude oil prices fell 1.3 percent and copper was down 1 percent.

Redbook releases at 8:55 a.m. EDT its Retail Sales Index of department and chain store sales for August versus July. In the prior period, sales rose 0.7 percent.

U.S. Federal Reserve releases at 9:15 a.m. EDT industrial production and capacity utilization data for July. Economists expect a 0.5 percent rise in production and a reading of 76.9 percent for capacity utilization. In the previous report production rose 0.2 percent and capacity utilization was 76.7 percent.

Japan's Nikkei average rose 0.2 percent on Tuesday, while European stocks fell 1.5 percent as investors fretted about a tepid reading of German GDP growth ahead of talks between German and French leaders on the euro zone debt crisis.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet in Paris from 10 a.m. EDT to discuss what further measures they can take to contain Europe's debt crisis, which is now spreading to the continent's core. A joint news conference is due at 12 p.m. EDT.

The World Bank called for national governments to seek long-term debt curbs to solve the current sovereign debt crises in Europe and the United States, but said it was too early for special action by the Group of 20 nations.

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

The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 213.88 points, or 1.90 percent, to 11,482.90. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 25.68 points, or 2.18 percent, to 1,204.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 47.22 points, or 1.88 percent, to 2,555.20.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Erica Billingham)