(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Tuesday as oil prices steadied but remained close to their 7-year low and weak trade data out of China reignited fears of a global economic slowdown.
* Data showed China’s imports fell for the 13th consecutive month with an 8.7 percent decline in November compared with a year earlier.
* Crude prices steadied but global oversupply, compounded by the OPEC’s decision to keep output high, led analysts to predict further weakness. [O/R]
* The weak China data comes just ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting on Dec. 15-16, when the central bank is expected to raise interest rates for the first time since June 2006.
* Still, federal funds futures contracts FFcm1 imply an 80 percent chance that the Fed will end seven years of near-zero interest rates.
* U.S. stocks fell on Monday, led by the S&P energy index’s biggest one-day percentage drop since late August.
* Chipotle Mexican Grill CMG.N shares fell 5.6 percent to $521 in premarket trading after 30 Boston College students fell ill after eating at the company’s restaurant over the weekend.
* Norfolk Southern NSC.N was down 2.2 percent at $93.50 after the Wall Street Journal reported that Canadian Pacific Railway CP.TO is expected to revise deal terms for its acquisition of the company.
* Qualcomm QCOM.O was down 1.5 percent at $51.63 after Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission has launched an investigation into whether the chipmaker’s patent licensing arrangements violate the Taiwan Fair Trade Act.
Futures snapshot at 7:20 a.m. ET (1120 GMT):
* S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 18.5 points, or 0.89 percent, with 150,212 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 44.25 points, or 0.94 percent, on volume of 26,204 contracts.
* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 152 points, or 0.86 percent, with 19,642 contracts changing hands.
Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D'Silva