Stock index futures pointed to a mixed open on Wall Street on Tuesday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.15 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.1 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.27 percent at 4:19 a.m. ET.
European stocks were down 0.5 percent in morning trade, halting a sharp two-session rally as a batch of bearish ratings agency views ahead of the latest meeting of euro zone finance ministers dented investors' risk appetite.
French stocks underperformed, with BNP Paribas down 3.9 percent and Societe Generale down 4 percent, hit by a report saying Standard & Poor's could change the outlook for France's triple-A rating to negative within the next 10 days.
Moody's said it could downgrade the subordinated debt of 87 banks across 15 European Union nations on concerns that governments would be too cash-strapped to bail out holders of riskier bank debt in times of stress.
After the bell on Monday, Fitch Ratings gave the United States until 2013 to come up with a credible plan to tackle its ballooning budget deficit or risk a downgrade of the country's coveted AAA rating. Fitch revised to negative from stable the outlook on the U.S. credit rating after a special congressional committee failed last week to agree on at least $1.2 trillion in deficit-reduction measures.
Investors awaited Italy's bond auction, with the country set to pay more than 7 percent to sell three and 10-year paper, a level of borrowing cost seen as unsustainable in the long term.
AOL Inc Chief Executive Tim Armstrong said he remains committed to keeping the company independent and is not looking at Yahoo's assets even as AOL's larger rivals seek to consolidate.
On the macro front, investors await the S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index for September, the Conference Board's November consumer confidence and the FHFA's home price index for September.
U.S. stocks rebounded from seven days of losses on Monday as investors used the latest effort from European leaders to resolve the region's debt crisis as an opportunity to cover short positions.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 291.23 points, or 2.59 percent, at 11,523.01. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 33.88 points, or 2.92 percent, at 1,192.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 85.83 points, or 3.52 percent, at 2,527.34.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by David Holmes)