U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Tuesday as investors await earnings reports from a host of companies, including Apple.
Dow component Merck (MRK.N) rose 2.2 percent to $62.10 in premarket trading after the company reported a 19.6 percent rise in quarterly net profit..
Apple (AAPL.O), which is scheduled to report results after the close of the bell, was up 0.46 percent at $118.19.
Annualized third-quarter earnings from S&P 500 components are expected to have risen 1.1 percent, following four quarters of contraction, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Of the 120 companies that have reported so far, 78 percent have beaten analyst expectations, above the long-term average of 63.5 percent.
Investors will also be keeping an eye on consumer confidence numbers for October which are expected to have fallen slightly. That data is expected at 10 a.m. ET.
The S&P 500 hit a two-week high on Monday, helped by strong earnings, while a flurry of acquisitions indicated corporate America continues to see untapped value in the market.
Global stocks were also higher on Tuesday as upbeat economic data and signs of a revival in inflation pushed up stocks and commodity prices and kept the dollar at a nine-month high.
Oil edged up ahead of the release of U.S. crude inventory data, which in recent weeks has provided bullish surprises, but top-level comments from OPEC members regarding chances of an output cut kept a lid on prices. [O/R]
The dollar index DXY was little changed at 98.76 against a basket of major currencies, after touching its highest level since early February, last week. A strong dollar could dent the earnings of large multinationals.
Whirlpool (WHR.N) fell 4.3 percent at $163.10 after the home appliances maker’s revenue took a hit from a strong dollar.
Eli Lilly (LLY.N) was down 2.8 percent at $75.40 after the drugmaker’s third-quarter revenue came in below Wall Street estimates.