U.S. stock index futures signal lower Wall St open

LONDON Tue Jan 8, 2013 9:38am GMT

LONDON Jan 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower Wall Street open on Tuesday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 down 0.1 to 0.3 percent.

* Alcoa and Monsanto are two of the first large companies to report quarterly results as the earnings season begins. Wall Street expects both the companies to show improved profit from a year ago.

* ICSC/Goldman Sachs release chain store sales for the week ended Jan. 5 at 1245 GMT. In the previous week, sales rose 0.6 percent.

* Samsung Electronics said it likely earned a quarterly profit of $8.3 billion as it sold close to 500 handsets a minute and as demand picked up for the flat screens it makes for mobile devices, including those for rival Apple Inc products.

* Redbook releases its Retail Sales Index of department and chain store sales for January at 1355 GMT. In the previous month, sales rose 0.1 percent.

* Sears Holdings Corp said late on Monday Chief Executive Louis D'Ambrosio will step down for family health reasons after the U.S. retailer reported a 1.8 percent decline in quarter-to-date sales at stores open at least a year.

* National Federation of Independent Business releases small business optimism index for December at 1230 GMT. In the previous month, the index read 87.5.

* The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares turned flat in morning session on Tuesday after opening lower, with gains in telecom stocks offsetting declines in financial and mining shares.

* U.S. stocks lost ground on Monday, as investors drew back from recent gains that lifted the S&P 500 to a five-year high, in anticipation of sluggish growth in corporate profits.

* The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 50.92 points, or 0.38 percent, to 13,384.29. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 4.58 points, or 0.31 percent, to 1,461.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 2.84 points, or 0.09 percent, to 3,098.81.