Here’s what’s shaking:
U.S. stock futures are falling ahead of a report on retail sales during December, a critical period for the sector.
Dow Jones industrial futures are down 39 points to 13,394. The broader S&P futures have lost 5.9 points to 1,458.40. Nasdaq futures are down 8.25 points to 2,720.50.
Economists expect the Commerce Department to confirm that consumers eased back on spending as a fight in Washington heated up over the budget and the so-called fiscal cliff. Consumer confidence trailed off during December to its lowest point since August, according to the most recent report from the Conference Board.
Economists are forecasting that retail sales edged up 0.2 percent in December. The report will be released by the Commerce Department at 8:30 a.m. EST Tuesday.
The price of oil slipped below $94 a barrel Tuesday due to concerns about weakening economic growth in Germany and expectations of a rise in U.S. crude stockpiles.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for February delivery was down 31 cents to $93.83 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 58 cents to finish at $94.15 per barrel in New York on Tuesday.
Germany’s economy grew only 0.7 percent in 2012, suggesting it shrank in the fourth quarter, according to government figures. For 2012, the economy still grew faster than the rest of the 17 European Union countries which use the euro, but it showed a sharp drop over 2011, when it grew 3 percent.
The struggles of Europe’s largest economy corroborated figures released Monday which showed industrial output across the eurozone down in November for the third straight month.
Data for the week ending Jan. 11 is expected to show a rise of 2.5 million barrels in crude oil stocks and of 3 million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was down 7 cents to $111.81 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
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