GettyImages-Stock Market Feb 19
A trader works ahead of the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) February 15, 2019 in New York City. The U.S markets are expected a mixed open on Tuesday as stock futures are mostly flat. JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

Mixed open likely for U. S stock markets Tuesday as stock futures remained flat, indicating the anxiety of market participants for a clear picture on the latest U.S.-China trade talks.

At 3:40 a.m. ET, Dow futures were down 5 points down, hinting a marginally higher open of 9 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were unchanged.

Among corporate earnings, Walmart ‘s latest results are awaited. At the data front, the NAHB housing market index will be out during the day.

Oil slips

On Tuesday, Brent crude oil prices dipped slightly from the 2019 highs over the caution that falling economic growth will pull down fuel demand. However, supply cuts by OPEC are keeping the markets tight.

International Brent crude oil futures at $66.08 per barrel at 0220 GMT, was down 0.6 percent from the last close.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures at $55.71 per barrel, was up 12 cents from the last settlement, yet below the $56.33 of the previous day ’s highest in the year so far.

Gold prices moved to a 10-month peak on Tuesday as U.S.-China trade talks loomed. Palladium price soared to a record high on short supply fears.

Spot gold stood unchanged at $1,326.10 per ounce as of 0048 GMT, after the 10-month high of $1,327.64 an ounce in the previous session. U.S. gold futures rose 0.5 percent to $1,328.9 an ounce.

Palladium hit a record high of $1,459 an ounce as supply deficit fears supported prices.

Asia markets mixed

Stocks in Asia displayed mixed trends Tuesday as signs of new trade tension surfaced with China alleging that the U.S. had escalated cyber security concerns.

In mainland Chinese markets, Shanghai composite jumped slightly while Shenzen Composite inched up 0.184 percent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index tumbled 0.28 percent in the final hour of trading. The shares of HSBC fell 1.48 percent after earnings of 2018 were a bit unexciting.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.1 percent. Topix was up 0.28 percent while South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.24 percent. Australia’s ASX 200 soared 0.28 percent.

European stocks were slightly down Tuesday morning, as market participants awaited the progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down around 0.1 percent with most sectors in the negative territory. The sector losses were led by Europe's banking index that was down 0.75 percent.