Stock index futures pointed to a modestly lower open on Tuesday, the anniversary of the lows reached in the recession, as the dollar strengthened and pressured commodity prices.

One year ago, markets hit a more than 12-year low in the wake of the financial crisis. The Dow has rallied about 62 percent since then.

The anniversary will remind investors how far we've come and how bad things were, and that could push a little rationality back into the market for those who have been chasing the market and expecting further gains, said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates in Toledo, Ohio.

Lancz noted that stocks have rallied in recent sessions, closing out last week with gains of more than 2 percent in all major indexes. To move higher from here, we need a catalyst and we don't have one, he said.

S&P 500 futures fell 4 points and were 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 lost 18 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures slid 3.75 points.

Technology shares will also be in focus a day after Texas Instruments Inc raised its quarterly earnings and revenue forecast but said it was struggling to fill orders due to increased demand for chips. The stock fell 1.6 percent to $24.30 before the bell.

Oil prices slipped back from eight-week highs, falling 2 percent to $80.31 per barrel on a stronger dollar and expectations that crude inventories likely rose for a sixth straight week.

Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc put its security consulting business up for sale for $1.3 billion, the Financial Times reported.

On the earnings front, Dick's Sporting Goods Inc fell 2.4 percent to $25 in premarket trading after it reported fourth-quarter earnings above expectations and forecast a 2011 profit that could top estimates.

According to a quarterly survey by Manpower Inc , U.S. employers are slightly less willing to hire workers in the coming quarter than they were in the last period.

European equities dropped 0.7 percent in morning trade, with declines in financial and mining stocks outweighing strength in food producers such as Nestle , Unilever and Danone .

Tech stocks pushed the Nasdaq higher on Monday on an otherwise flat day for U.S. stocks, led by BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd and Cisco Systems Inc .

About 7.06 billion shares were traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq in Monday's session, the second weakest total volume so far this year.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)