Looking to the day ahead, the Census Bureau will report the U.S. trade balance at 8:30 a.m. ET.
In corporate news, drugmaker Merck(MRK) announced that it will sell its consumer care business to Bayer AG for $14.2 billion. Merck shares edged up before the open.
DirecTV(DTV) shares bumped up ahead of the open after the satellite TV company reported stronger-than-expected earnings, despite a quarterly slide in net profit year over year.
Office Depot(ODP) shares surged 9% in premarket trading after announcing better-than-expected earnings and plans to close 400 stores.
Groupon(GRPN), Disney(DIS) and Whole Foods(WFM) will report after the close.
For the rest of the week, analysts say the big movers will be testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen on Wednesday, a meeting of the European Central Bank on Thursday, and ongoing tensions in Ukraine.
Markets in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong were closed Tuesday. But the other Asian markets made gains.
U.S. stocks closed slightly higher Monday. The Dow closed up 0.1% after dropping 120 points early in the trading session. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also recovered from early losses, closing with a small gain.