U.S. stock index futures point to a higher open Tuesday ahead of the publication of the Labor Department's Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Core Consumer Price Index for March and Industrial Production data from the Federal Reserve, while investors also await the Census Bureau’s data on housing starts and building permits.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.49 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.38 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.40 percent.

Investors are expected to focus on the Department of Labor's CPI for March to be published on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m EDT. The CPI, which measures the change in the price of goods and services from consumers' perspective, is estimated to have registered a 0.1 percent gain in March in comparison to a steep 0.7 percent gain in February. The Core Consumer Price Index for March also released by the Department of Labor on Tuesday, which measures the changes in the price of goods and services, excluding food and energy, is likely to remain flat at 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, investors are also likely to focus on the Census Bureau’s housing starts and building permits reports, due to be released before the markets open. Housing starts, which measure the change in the annualized number of residential buildings that entered construction each month, is expected to rise to 930,000 in March from 917,000 in the previous month.

Building permits, which measure the change in the number of new building permits issued by the government each month, is likely to rise to 940,000 in March, up from 939,000 in February.

Investors will also focus on the Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization report to be published before the opening bell. Industrial production that measures the change in the total inflation-adjusted value of output produced by manufacturers, mines and utilities is expected to show a reading of 0.2 percent in March against the 0.8 percent recorded in February. The capacity utilization rate, the percentage of production capacity being utilized in the U.S, may have risen to 78.4 percent from 78.3 percent registered in the previous month.

In addition, investors are also expected to keep close watch on corporate earnings reports as many companies including BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK), Comerica Inc. (NYSE: CMA), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), Northern Trust Corp. (Nasdaq: NTRS) and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) are expected post earnings report before the opening bell, Tuesday, and corporates such as CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) are reporting earnings after the close of market hours.

U.S. shares posted their biggest one-day drop in 2013 on Monday, on weak data from the U.S. and China and as explosions rocked the Boston marathon killing three people and injuring many. The Dow fell more than 200 points following the news of the Boston explosions that occurred shortly before 3 p.m. EST.

Earlier, disappointing data from the U.S. and China and a sharp fall in the gold and silver prices triggered a selloff in stocks as investors shifted focus to low-risk assets like the U.S. treasuries. Gold fell more than 9 percent, marking its biggest drop since 1983, and gold futures traded in New York lost $140.

Manufacturing growth slowed more than expected in New York state in April and the U.S. homebuilder sentiment weakened for a third month in a row, while China reported an unexpected drop in its gross domestic product for the first quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.79 percent or 266 points, the S&P 500 Index was down 2.30 percent, or 36 points, and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 2.38 percent or 78 points.

European markets declined in the early minutes of trade, tracking the U.S. and Asian markets that were weighed down by concerns about global growth amid lower commodity prices and the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

London's FTSE100 declined 0.4 percent in early deals. France's CAC-40 was down 0.4 percent. Germany's DAX Index slid 0.4 percent.

Japan's exporters continued to suffer from the strengthening of the yen in addition to concerns over weakening global demand.

Earlier, the Nikkei closed down 0.41 percent to 13,221.44. South Korea's KOSPI gained 0.09 percent to 1,922.21 toward close.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.46 percent to 21,672.03 toward close. In China, the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.59 percent to 2,194.85.