* Crude, metal prices fall
* Fitbit sinks on weak forecast
* Western Digital down after China investor pulls out
* Futures down: Dow 12 pts, S&P 3.5 pts, Nasdaq 14.75 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Feb 23 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open slightly lower on Tuesday as a brief rally in oil and other commodities lost steam, dashing hopes of a sustained recovery from this year’s brutal selloff.
Stocks have moved in tandem with volatile oil prices, failing to stage firm rallies, as investors see tepid demand for energy as a sign of broader global economic weakness.
Crude oil and metal prices resumed their slide on Tuesday, while gold recovered some ground.
“(The market is) still groping for direction,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“You still see this hypersensitivity to what’s going on with the price of oil and the market’s reacting on a day-to-day basis to that. It really shouldn‘t, but it gives you a sense of the nervousness out there,” he said.
U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday, extending last week’s gains after strong labor and inflation data. Still, the S&P 500 is down 4.8 percent this year.
Uncertainty surrounding monetary policy has also curbed investors’ appetite for risk.
While Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said the central bank will analyze data and global financial and economical conditions before making a decision on interest rates, other policymakers seem to be at odds.
Investors will watch for comments by Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari later in the day for clues on the Fed’s view on the U.S. economy.
At 8:12 a.m. ET (1312 GMT), Dow e-minis were down 12 points, or 0.07 percent, with 28,999 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were down 3.5 points, or 0.18 percent, with 223,789 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 14.75 points, or 0.35 percent, on volume of 32,347 contracts.
Also keenly watched will be economic data, including reports on U.S. home resales and consumer confidence at 10 a.m. ET (1500 GMT). Existing homes sales are forecast to have declined 2.9 percent in January, while consumer confidence likely fell in February on account of the stock market rout.
Shares of Home Depot were up 3.1 percent at $126.67 premarket after the home improvement chain reported better-than-expected quarterly sales.
Fitbit sank 14.4 percent to $14.14 after the wearable fitness device maker forecast profit below estimates.
Macy’s surged 7.2 percent to $44 after its comparable sales fell less-than-expected in the quarter.
Western Digital slumped 9.3 percent to $41.80 after a government watchdog derailed an investment in the company by China’s Unisplendour. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)