NYSE_Wall Street
Traders stand outside the New York Stock Exchange prior to the opening bell on Oct. 31, 2012. Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Markets will closely watch Tuesday’s release of inflation data for further corroboration of a growing body of evidence and comments from Federal Reserve officials, which signal that the Fed is inching closer to announcing a gradual tapering of its monthly asset-purchase program.

The consumer price index, or CPI, for the month of November is scheduled to be released at 8:30 a.m. EST. And, according to Capital Economics, “A rebound in CPI inflation to 1.3 percent in November from October’s four-year low of 1.0 percent, should ease some concerns that inflation is too low.”

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.08 percent and futures on the S&P 500 were down 0.07 percent while those on the Nasdaq 100 were up 0.04 percent.

On Monday, industrial production data came out strong to record a high not seen until before the recession, which “provided more evidence that economic growth is gaining momentum,” Capital Economics said in a note.

On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, is expected to make its monetary policy announcement at 2 p.m. EST, and it is widely expected that the Fed will leave key interest rates untouched at current levels.

In Europe, stocks were trading in the red with the Stoxx Europe 600 index trading down 0.45 percent while the FTSE 100 was down 0.48 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was down 0.39 percent while France's CAC-40 was down 0.96 percent.

In Asia, stocks were mixed with Japan’s Nikkei ending the day up 0.83 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.57 percent. The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.45 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 0.2 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index was up 0.23 percent while India’s BSE Sensex fell 0.23 percent.