Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
US Traders Reuters

Futures on major U.S. stock indices point to modestly higher opening on Tuesday, following better-than-expected reports on retail sales and producer prices.

Futures on the S&P 500 are up 0.11 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.08 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are up 0.02 percent.

The Commerce Department reported that retailer sales increased 0.8 percent in November compared to 1.2 percent gain in the previous month and against analysts’ estimation of 0.5 percent growth. Core retail sales, excluding auto, rose 1.2 percent in November from a 0.4 percent gain last month.

The producer price index for finished goods rose 0.8 percent in November, the biggest gain since March, mainly pushed by higher energy goods. Core producer prices, excluding volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.3 percent in November compared from 0.6 percent decline in the previous month and against analysts’ estimation of 0.2 percent.

Investors are likely to stay glued to the FOMC meeting and interest rate decision, which is due to be released at 2:15 pm EDT. The interest rate is expected to remain unchanged at 0.25 percent.

Investors are eagerly waiting on what the Fed will say about the developments in the economy, from the tax-cut effects to the decision whether to extend QE beyond $600 billion.

The U.S. Senate on Monday passed, 83 to 15, a procedural measure that allows the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010 to come to the Senate floor for a vote. The measure also allows a limited time for debate before the vote, which could take place later this week.

On Monday, US stocks climbed for most of the day as investors anticipated the results of a Senate vote on the proposed extension of the Bush tax cuts, but a late-day sell-off pushed the major equity indices to session lows, resulting in a mixed performance for stocks.

The euro advanced 0.28 percent to 1.3428 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.11 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures declined 0.10 percent to $88.52/barrel and gold futures advanced 0.29 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading mixed with FTSE100 up by 10.43 points, DAX30 down by 11.72 points and CAC 40 down by 4.56 points.