MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Set To Gain More Than 100 Points, Led By Caterpillar's Earnings-driven Rally

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

But Whirlpool whacked after earnings

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U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday, suggesting another round of records could be in store for the main benchmarks as earnings continue to come in largely ahead of expectations.

Caterpillar Inc.'s earnings-driven rally looked set to lead the Dow industrials higher, while Whirlpool Corp.'s drop following its results helped limit the S&P 500's advance.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

S&P 500 futures tacked on 3.85 points, or 0.2%, to 2,567.25, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 135 points, or 0.6%, to 23,363.00. Nasdaq-100 futures added 7.25 points, or 0.1%, to 6,072.00.

On Monday, the S&P 500 , Dow and Nasdaq Composite finished moderately lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-aim-for-all-time-highs-with-more-earnings-ready-to-provide-a-spur-2017-10-23), with each gauge pulling back from an all-time closing high achieved Friday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-sp-shape-up-for-more-records-after-senate-clears-big-hurdle-to-tax-reform-2017-10-20). They're sporting year-to-date gains that range from 15% to 22%.

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Which stocks look like key movers?

Shares in Whirlpool(WHR) fell 9% in premarket trading. The appliance manufacturer late Monday posted weaker-than-anticipated results and lowered its outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/whirlpool-shares-tank-on-earnings-miss-lower-outlook-2017-10-23), and Sears Holdings Corp.(SHLD) reportedly plans to stop selling Whirlpool appliances (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sears-to-stop-selling-whirlpool-appliances-2017-10-24) in its stores. Whirlpool was the S&P's biggest premarket loser.

Heavy-machinery manufacturer Caterpillar Inc.(CAT) jumped 7% premarket after its earnings beat forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/caterpillar-shares-jump-7-after-company-beats-wall-street-q3-earnings-expectations-2017-10-24). The stock was the S&P and Dow's biggest premarket gainer.

McDonald's(MCD) inched up in premarket trading after reporting third-quarter results that met expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mcdonalds-reports-earnings-and-revenue-in-line-with-expectations-2017-10-24). Global same-store sales rose 6% in the quarter, above forecasts.

Lockheed Martin Corp.(LMT) fell 1% before the bell after its third-quarter profit came in below analyst forecasts.

Dow component (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/3ms-stock-jumps-after-profit-and-revenue-rise-above-expectations-2017-10-24)3M Co.(MMM), drug giant (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/eli-lilly-beats-profit-and-sales-expectations-as-diabetes-sales-soar-39-2017-10-24)Eli Lilly & Co.(LLY) and auto maker General Motors Co.(GM) were also higher premarket following their earnings. GM posted earnings and revenue that topped forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gm-shares-rise-after-earnings-and-revenue-beat-2017-10-24).

Read:EarningsWatch--Amazon, Alphabet and AMD form tech's A list (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/earningswatch-amazon-alphabet-and-amd-form-techs-a-list-2017-10-23)

Shares in conglomerate General Electric Co.(GE) and streaming company Roku Inc. will try to rebound after the stocks closed at a 4 1/2-year low (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ges-stock-sinks-to-4-12-year-low-after-another-analyst-throws-in-the-towel-2017-10-23) and an all-time low (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/roku-closes-at-lowest-price-since-ipo-2017-10-23), respectively.

Facebook Inc.(FB) edged higher premarket after the social network late Monday denied that it's planning to charge publications (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/facebook-denies-plans-to-charge-publications-for-posts-2017-10-23) to post in its main product.

What could help drive markets?

At 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time, Markit is slated to deliver October figures for its purchasing managers' indexes for manufacturing and services.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

No Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to make speeches.

But traders may be focusing a bit further away, bracing for Thursday's European Central Bank gathering and Friday's release on third-quarter gross domestic product. There are also expectations that President Trump will announce a new Federal Reserve boss before he starts a trip to Asia on Nov. 3.

See:Trump says he's 'very, very close' to naming pick for Fed chief (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-today-president-says-hes-very-very-close-to-naming-pick-for-fed-chief-2017-10-23)

What are strategists saying?

"For the most part, earnings across sectors are coming in strong, and Caterpillar is significant today. Not only did they blow their numbers out of the water, but they export so much, suggesting that the whole concept of the global economy becoming synchronized and moving higher is in play," said John Brady, managing director at R.J. O'Brien & Associates, a futures brokerage and clearing company.

"I'm not concerned about valuations yet, though it is hard to find cheap stocks. But there is just no compelling investment alternative to equities right now."

What are other assets doing?

Oil futures were advancing, while gold futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-pushed-down-by-mild-dollar-strength-expected-recovery-for-stocks-2017-10-24) and the ICE U.S. Dollar Index inched lower. European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-wobble-in-muted-action-but-earnings-provide-some-uplift-2017-10-24) were a mixed bag (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-wobble-in-muted-action-but-earnings-provide-some-uplift-2017-10-24), as were Asian markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nikkei-pushes-to-extend-win-streak-to-16-sessions-even-as-dow-sp-runs-are-halted-2017-10-23).

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 24, 2017 09:03 ET (13:03 GMT)