stock index futures were lower on Tuesday as investors found little reason to make big bets in what was expected to be a light-volume session following the previous week's gains.

The S&P 500 has risen for four straight sessions and turned positive for the year on Friday. Improving economic data helped boost equities last week. The gains were amplified by the light pre-holiday trading.

Investors looked ahead to November Midwest manufacturing data, scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. EST as well as S&P/Case-Shiller home price data for October due at 9 a.m. EST and the December consumer confidence report at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT).

Home prices are seen edging lower from the previous month, while the confidence reading is seen rising to 58.3 from 56.0.

The data comes after better-than-expected housing and jobless claims data last week that confirmed a slowly improving economy.

S&P 500 futures fell 3.1 points and below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures slipped 18 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were off 2 points.

Markets were flat globally following the long Christmas weekend, with European stocks dipping 0.01 percent.

Bank of America Corp is lagging behind major U.S. competitors in complying with new capital rules, leading the bank to consider even more asset sales, sources said. Shares of the Dow component edged 0.7 percent lower to $5.56 in premarket trading.

Sears Holdings Corp plans to close 100-120 Kmart and Sears full-line stores and sees its adjusted fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization falling by more than half from a year ago.

Equities extended their gains to close out a fourth straight winning session on Friday after the strong economic data. In addition, investors hope Congressional approval of a two-month extension of a payroll tax cut will help boost growth in 2012.

(Reporting By Ryan Vlastelica; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)