Stocks were pointed lower early Tuesday as traders played defense ahead of a good-sized helping of economic data.

Index futures recently showed both the

S&P 500

and Nasdaq 100 trading about 2 points below fair value. The 10-year Treasury bond was unchanged in price at about 5.23%, while the dollar rose against the yen and euro.

Commodity prices mostly gained, with August crude adding 45 cents to $72.25 a barrel, gold rising $2.30 to $590 an ounce, and silver adding half a cent to $10.35 an ounce. Copper bucked the trend and eased 6.3 cents to $3.17 a pound.

Overseas stocks were narrowly mixed, with London's FTSE 100 up 0.1% to 5686 and Germany's Xetra DAX adding 0.1% to 5519. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei added 0.1% to 15,172, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.2% to 15,775.

On Monday, late buying lifted stocks on a huge day for corporate dealmaking. For the session, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 0.5% to 11,045, while the S&P 500 added 0.5% to 1251 and the

Nasdaq Composite

rose 12 points to 2134.

Trading Monday was restrained by the

Federal Reserve's

pending interest-rate decision, due on Thursday. Several economic reports will provide further insight into that event Tuesday, including reports on existing home sales and consumer confidence at 10 a.m. EDT.

Mergers news continued to flow Tuesday. A group comprising five separate investors have emerged victorious in the auction for

Univision

(UVN)

, agreeing to shell out $13.7 billion, or $36.25 a share for the Spanish-language broadcaster. Univision closed at $32.03 on Monday.

Two Michigan-based banks are merging.

Citizens Banking

(CBCF)

said early Tuesday it will acquire

Republic Bancorp

(RBNC) - Get Report

for cash and stock worth $1.05 billion, or $13.86 a share.

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

confirmed late Monday that its efforts to coax hourly workers to leave the company ahead of schedule are meeting with unexpected success. GM said 35,000 members of the United Auto Workers have accepted early retirement or contract buyouts, helping the automaker reach a key cost cutting goal about a year ahead of schedule.

To view David Peltier's video take on today's premarket action, click here

.

Shares of

Take-Two Interactive

(TTWO) - Get Report

tanked 20% after hours when the company announced it had received a subpoena concerning last year's disclosure that its

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

title could be manipulated to feature an explicit sex scene. The New York district attorney wants information about how much company executives knew about the hidden scene, among other things.

European regulators are reportedly set to fine

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

about $2.5 million a day for failing to fully implement and 2004 antitrust ruling, according to the

Financial Times

. The ruling compelled the software maker to share information about its Windows operating system with rival companies.