Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. REUTERS

Futures on major U.S. stock indices point to modestly higher opening on Tuesday ahead of a wave of economic data including retail sales.

Futures on the S&P 500 are up 0.06 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.09 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are up 0.08 percent.

Investors are cautious ahead of January core retail sales report from the Commerce Department, which is due to be released before market opens. Economists are expecting the figure to rise by 0.5 percent from 0.6 percent growth in the previous month. While core retail sales, excluding auto, is expected to record 0.6 percent growth from 0.5 percent rise in December.

Other economic data including NY Empire State manufacturing index and import price index will be released before markets open, while business inventories for December will be released after market opens.

NY Empire State manufacturing index is expected to show that manufacturing activity continued to strengthen in February, while business inventories are expected to rise by 0.70 percent in December from a 0.20 percent rise in November.

On Monday, U.S. stocks finished narrowly mixed as investors appeared to be underwhelmed by President Obama’s budget proposal, while unrest in the Middle East has spread to Iran and even Bahrain.

The euro gained 0.29 percent to 1.3528 against the dollar and the yen declined 0.26 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures advanced 0.51 percent to $85.32/barrel and gold futures rose by 0.62 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading higher with FTSE 100 up by 4.66 points, DAX30 up by 18.12 points and CAC 40 up by 16.90 points.