NEW YORK, Jan 15 (Reuters) -
U.S. stock index futures slipped on Tuesday as investors
faced what is expected to be a lackluster earnings season, while
a batch of economic data was on tap for later in the morning,
including retail sales and regional manufacturing.
* Fiscal and monetary policy were also at the forefront of
investors' minds. On Monday, President Barack Obama rejected any
negotiations with Republicans over raising the U.S. borrowing
limit. The United States could default on its debt if Congress
does not increase the borrowing limit.
* Speaking separately on Monday, Federal Reserve Chairman
Ben Bernanke urged lawmakers to raise the debt ceiling. The
central bank chairman also gave a cautiously optimistic outlook
for U.S. growth but no clear hints on when the Fed would curb
its aggressive bond purchases.
* Corporate earnings season picks up the pace this week and
investors are bracing for disappointment. Analyst estimates for
the quarter have fallen sharply since October. S&P 500 earnings
growth is now seen up just 1.9 percent from a year ago, Thomson
Reuters data showed.
* Shares of Dell rose 3.8 percent to $12.76 in
premarket trade the day after sources said the company is in
talks with private equity firms on a potential buyout.
* S&P 500 futures fell 4.8 points and were below fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down
16 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 6.75 points.
* Homebuilder Lennar reported profit that beat
expectations amid a jump in new home orders.
* Reports on U.S. retail sales and producer prices for
December, as well as manufacturing activity in New York state
for January were due at 8:30 am ET (1330 GMT). Business
inventories for November will be released at 10:00 am ET.