Apple’s European taxes in focus on Wall Street

Wall Street looked set for an anemic open on Tuesday, with stock-index futures paring gains to turn negative.

Economic data due on Tuesday include consumer confidence for August and the Case-Shiller home price index for June. It is important for the U.S. Federal Reserve that consumer confidence remains strong if it wishes to raise interest rates shortly, but the non-farm payrolls data due on Friday will be the more important indicator.

Stock watch

The European Commission ordered Ireland to recover up to 13 billion euros ($14 billion), plus interest, in back taxes from Apple on Tuesday. In a long-awaited ruling, the executive arm of the European Union said that Ireland had granted undue tax benefits to Apple. The company has paid a tax rate of less than 1 percent on some of its European sales via of a complex tax structure involving Irish subsidiaries. Apple shares declined by around 2.5 percent in pre-market trading.

Companies posting quarterly results on Tuesday included Abercrombie & Fitch, which fell more than 10 percent in the premarket after posting weak same-store sales.

Shares of Hershey fell sharply in extended-hours trade after Mondelez said it was walking away from takeover talks, having failed to agree on a price for the chocolate maker.