Futures on major U.S. stock indices remained lower on Tuesday despite better-than-expected reading on economic activity as a fresh exchange of fire between North Korea and South Korea weighed on the sentiment.

Futures on the S&P 500 are down 1.11 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are down 0.88 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are down 0.88 percent.

North Korea shelled a South Korean island, triggering worries that the lingering tensions between the countries could worsen. Tensions are escalating in the region as fighter jets have been deployed on the South Korean side of the border for retaliatory action.

At 8:30 a.m. EDT, the Commerce Department reported that real Gross Domestic Product, the broadest measure of economic activity and is a key indicator for the economy's health, rose at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the third quarter of 2010, faster than the 2 percent rate projected last month. In the second quarter, the economy grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is due to report the sales of previously occupied homes after markets open. Economists are forecasting that existing home sales in October may ease to 4.42 million against 4.53 million in September.

The Federal Open Market Committee will release the minutes from its November meeting at 2 p.m. ET. Investors expect that the minutes will reveal more details regarding the $600 billion extension of its stimulus program.

On the corporate front, shares of Hewlett-Packard will be in focus after it reported 5 percent growth in quarterly profit and raised its fiscal 2011 forecasts.

On Monday, US stocks finished mixed, but bounced back from early lows on worries that Ireland’s debt crisis could spread to other peripheral euro zone nations, following a request by the Irish government for a multi-billion euro bailout.

The euro declined 0.94 percent to 1.3500 against the dollar on debt concerns and the yen gained 0.11 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures declined 1.39 percent to $80.60/barrel and gold futures advanced 0.29 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading lower with FTSE 100 down by 56.21 points, DAX30 down by 53.02 points and CAC 40 down by 58.94 points.