New York - US stock index futures edged higher on Tuesday, indicating equities would partially rebound from the previous session's steep drop, though concerns persisted over the state of Italy's economy and government makeup.
The CBOE Volatility Index surged 34 percent in its biggest jump since August 18, 2011.
Last week, concerns over whether the Federal Reserve might roll back its stimulus policy earlier than expected prompted a sharp two-day decline, though equities recovered most of the lost ground by the end of the week.
Weakness continued in Europe on Tuesday, with shares down 1.2 percent.
Morgan Stanley was one of the top percentage losers on the S&P on Monday, dropping more than 6 percent on concerns about the company's exposure to European debt.
Home Depot was up 1.3 percent to $64.75 in premarket trading.
Dow Jones industrial average futures added 49 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 3.25 points.
An inability to break back above it could portend a weaker technical backdrop.
The index remains 4.3 percent higher on the year.
With 83 percent of the S&P 500 having reported so far, 69 percent beat profit expectations, compared with a 62 percent average since 1994 and 65 percent over the past four quarters, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Fourth-quarter S&P earnings are seen having risen 6 percent, above a 1.9 percent forecast at the start of the earnings season.
MetroPCS reported revenue that was slightly ahead of expectations earlier Tuesday.
That could leave the sectors vulnerable to a pullback as events in Italy progress.
Goldman Sachs on Tuesday cut its 2013 gold price forecast to $1,600 an ounce from $1,810, citing an increase in US real interest rates.
US equities will face a test with the looming debate over so-called sequestration - US government budget cuts that will take effect starting on Friday if lawmakers fail to reach an agreement over spending and taxes.
The White House issued warnings about the harm the cuts are likely to inflict on the economy if enacted. - Reuters