Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 were down 0.3 to 0.4 percent, pointing to a weaker start on Wall Street on Tuesday.

Pfizer is expected to say it earned 53 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, down 1 cent from the same quarter a year ago. Merck is expected to report that its earnings rose by 1 cent per share to 75 cents.

Other major companies to announce results include News Corp , MasterCard and NYSE Euronext.

At 7:45 a.m. EST, ICSC/Goldman Sachs release chain store sales for the week ended May 1 versus the prior week. In the previous week, sales rose 0.2 percent.

Redbook releases at 8:55 a.m. EST its Retail Sales Index of department and chain store sales for April versus March. In the prior period, sales dropped 2.0 percent.

The U.S. Senate will cast its first votes on Tuesday on a sweeping Wall Street reform bill, with passage of a handful of uncontroversial amendments expected and a key procedural question still unsettled.

At 10 a.m. EST, Commerce Dept releases March factory orders. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a drop of 0.1 percent compared with a 0.6 percent rise in February.

National Association of Realtors issues March Pending Home Sales at 10 a.m. EST. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 4.0 percent rise versus a 8.2 percent increase in February.

Shares of McKesson Corp rose 4.3 percent to $67.66 in extended trade on Monday after the company reported quarterly results.

ABC News releases at 5 p.m. EST its consumer comfort index for the week ended May 2 versus the prior week. In the previous week, the index read -49.

European stocks fell in morning trade, with the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares down 0.9 percent. Shares extended losses, with markets still unconvinced by Greece's bailout and on concerns of contagion to other euro zone peripheral countries.

The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continued to grow, although BP said it made some progress toward capping the underwater well that ruptured almost two weeks ago.

Resource-related stocks will be in focus as U.S. crude oil fell to around $86 a barrel, dampened by the stronger dollar and an expected rise in U.S. crude and fuel stocks, after hitting a 19-month high on positive economic news the previous day.

Copper prices fell to their weakest in seven weeks on concerns China may tighten its monetary policy further and cause demand to thin from the world's top consumer of many base metals.

China on Sunday raised the bank reserve requirement ratio by 50 basis points, its third increase of that magnitude this year as the country continues to siphon off excess cash to cool its red-hot economy.

A German government source said on Tuesday Greece's capital requirements until 2012 are greater than the 110 billion euros included in a euro zone and IMF rescue package.

Australia's central bank raised its key cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.5 percent on Tuesday and signaled the first stage of its tightening cycle was over after six hikes in eight months.

U.S. stocks staged a broad rally that drove the S&P 500 to its best day in two months on Monday after manufacturing, consumer spending and construction data instilled confidence that the economic recovery is gaining traction.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 143.22 points, or 1.30 percent, to 11,151.83. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 15.57 points, or 1.31 percent, to 1,202.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 37.55 points, or 1.53 percent, to 2,498.74.

Japanese financial markets are closed from Monday to Wednesday for public holidays.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Hans Peters)