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U.S. stocks were headed for a flat opening Tuesday.
Stocks ended Monday's session mixed, as investors digested President Obama's 2012 budget proposal in a quiet trading session.
The market has been moving gradually higher this year amid expectations of an improving economy. The S&P 500 is up nearly 6% so far in 2011.
Economy: The Commerce Department said total retail sales rose 0.3% last month. Economists on average had forecast an increase of 0.5% for January, compared to a 0.6% gain in sales the prior month.
Sales excluding autos and auto parts also rose a weaker-than-expected 0.3%, compared to a 0.5% increase in ex-auto sales in December.
Other economic reports on tap before the market opens include data on business inventories.
Companies: Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) reported a loss of 2% per share in the fourth quarter and issued a 2011 sales outlook that was slightly below analysts' expectations. Shares were down 3% in premarket trading.
Shares of Netflix (NFLX) fell 1.5% in premarket trading, a day after the stock rose to an all-time high.
After the closing bell, Dell (DELL, Fortune 500) will report its quarterly results. Analysts expect the company to report earnings per share of 37 cents, on $15.71 billion in revenue.
World markets: European stocks were mixed in morning trading. Britain's FTSE 100 ticked fell 0.1%, the DAX in Germany gained 0.1% and France's CAC 40 added 0.4%.
China's consumer price index rose 4.9% in January, up slightly from 4.6% growth in December.
Asian markets ended the session mixed. The Shanghai Composite was flat and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slid nearly 1%, while Japan's Nikkei added 0.2%.
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