The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet.

New York - US stock index futures slipped on Tuesday, indicating the S&P will remain under pressure for a fourth straight day, as investors look to the start of corporate earnings season.

* The S&P 500 suffered its biggest three-day drop in two months and the Nasdaq posted its worst three-day decline since November 2011 on Monday as investors bid down Internet stocks and rotated into defensive names.

* The recent slump has pushed the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 into negative territory for the year.

* Earnings season gets under way this week, with results due from companies including Alcoa Inc after the close, retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond on Wednesday, while financials JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co close out the week with results on Friday.

* S&P 500 companies' first-quarter earnings are projected to have increased just 1.1 percent from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data showed. The forecast is down sharply from the start of the year, when profit growth was estimated at 6.5 percent.

* A lacklustre first-quarter earnings season hurt by a harsh winter could spark a pullback, some analysts said, with investors expressing optimism for the second quarter as weather improves.

S&P 500 e-mini futures fell 2.75 points and were slightly 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 lost 28 points and Nasdaq 100 futures retreated 2.75 points.

* A US jury ordered Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd to pay $6 billion in punitive damages and Eli Lilly and Co to pay $3 billion in a case claiming that cancer risks to the diabetes drug Actos were concealed, the plaintiffs' lawyer said.

* Gigamon Inc slumped 24.4 percent to $19.81 in premarket trade after the maker of network traffic management software, estimated lower-than-expected first-quarter revenue.

* Europe's main equity indexes were little changed, with the construction-materials group Saint-Gobain among the biggest losers, as caution prevailed before the first-quarter earnings season opens.

* Asian stocks shrugged off early losses and rose, helped by Chinese shares rising sharply on stimulus hopes, but Japanese equities slumped as the yen clung to its gains after the Bank of Japan held policy steady. - Reuters