By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures drifted lower Tuesday as markets continue to debate interest-rate strategy, with a number of retailers reporting results.
S&P 500 futures fell 3.7 points to 1,103.80 and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 7.75 points to 1,813.20. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 29 points.
U.S. stocks on Monday closed lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite dropping between 0.1% and 0.2%. But the loss came after four straight winning days for the Dow and S&P 500.TODAY'S INTERNATIONAL MARKET STORIES
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The market is waiting for testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, due to start Wednesday, after last week's surprise hike in the discount rate.
Bernanke's former colleague at MIT, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, said Tuesday that the recovery in the world economy is "fragile" and that of the euro zone has "stalled." See King story.
Tuesday will also see the Case-Shiller home price index for December, consumer confidence data for February and the auction of $44 billion in two-year notes.
A key German business climate gauge fell in February for the first time in 10 months. See full story.
Earnings are due from the retail sector, with Home Depot /quotes/comstock/13*!hd/quotes/nls/hd (HD 30.92, +0.60, +1.98%) announcing its first dividend hike since 2006 as its earnings topped estimates, while Sears Holdings /quotes/comstock/15*!shld/quotes/nls/shld (SHLD 94.36, -1.30, -1.36%) announced a surge in profit. In January, Sears had guided toward a rise in profit. Both Home Depot and Sears rose by more than 1% in early premarket trade. See Home Depot story.
Brocade /quotes/comstock/15*!brcd/quotes/nls/brcd (BRCD 5.33, -1.63, -23.42%) stumbled nearly 13% in premarket trade as the network equipment maker offered up weaker-than-forecast revenue guidance.
Broker downgraded weighed on Palm /quotes/comstock/15*!palm/quotes/nls/palm (PALM 8.48, -0.63, -6.92%) , which fell nearly 4%.
International bourses were languid, with the Nikkei 225 up 0.5% while the FTSE 100 was fractionally lower in London.
Oil futures were trading below the $80 a barrel mark, and the dollar fell against the Japanese yen.
Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief.