Premarket futures were portending a lower open for stocks on Wall Street Tuesday, as the prospect of additional layoffs in the financial sector and continued woes for the automakers put a dent in investor sentiment.

Futures for the

S&P 500

were down 17 points at 834 and were 16 short of fair value.

Nasdaq

futures were lower by 28 points at 1131 and were 22 below fair value.

On Monday, trading in stocks was choppy before falling sharply in the final minutes of trading. Weak earnings statements from retailers and reports of massive layoffs from

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

and

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

added to the selling pressure.

Ahead of Tuesday's trasing, asset manager

BlackRock

(BLK) - Get Report

joined the set of companies to announce layoffs, according to a report by

Bloomberg

. BlackRock's job cuts are the first in its 20-year history.

The automakers were once again on investors' radar, as

Mazda Motor

said

Ford

(F) - Get Report

was reducing its stake in the Japanese company to 13% from 33%. Ford, along with

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

and

Chrysler

, are facing mounting cash-flow problems on declining vehicle sales, credit crunch -related financing troubles and substantial legacy costs.

Looking at the day's earnings, hardware store operator

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Report

announced earnings that fell 31% year over year on declining revenue. Fashion retailer

Saks

(SKS)

also is slated to report Tuesday morning.

In the technology arena,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

CEO Jerry Yang is set to step down from his position as soon as the Internet firm can find a replacement. Yang's tenure was recently marked by a refusal to sell his company to

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

.

Shifting to economic data, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to release the October producer price index.

As for commodities, crude oil was declining 19 cents to $54.76 a barrel. Gold was losing $6.70 at $735.30 an ounce.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were rising in price. The 10-year note was adding 2/32 to yield 3.64%. The 30-year was up 11/32, yielding 4.17%. The dollar was rising vs. the euro and pound but declining against the yen.

Overseas, European exchanges such as the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were trading lower. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed with losses.