Dow futures were up 16 at 12,325. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 futures rose 2 to 1,276. The Nasdaq composite rose 7 points to 2,359.
After a perky start to the year, market sentiment has deteriorated again due to concerns about Europe's ability to solve its debt problems.
European markets were steady Monday ahead of a meeting between the leaders of France and Germany on restoring confidence in the euro. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are meeting for the first time this year.
Earlier, Chinese shares surged after the country's monetary authorities pledged to increase lending to entrepreneurs.