MARKET SNAPSHOT: S&P 500, Dow On Pace For Small Gains, But Whirlpool Whacked After Earnings

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Appliance maker's results disappoint, and Sears plans to drop its products

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U.S. stock futures on Tuesday pointed to a small rise at the open, but not enough for a return to records, with Whirlpool Corp.'s earnings-driven drop helping to keep a lid on the S&P 500.

Earnings season continues this morning with the release of quarterly results from McDonald Corp. and other household names.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

S&P 500 futures tacked on 1.85 points, or 0.1%, to 2,565.25, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 42 points, or 0.2%, to 23,270.00. Nasdaq-100 futures added 5.25 points, or 0.1%, to 6,070.00.

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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What could help drive markets?

At 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time, Markit is slated 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?

"Traders seem to be jostling for position, with several key risk events in the near future, but nothing definitive to provide markets with decisive direction," said Richard Perry, a Hantec Markets analyst, in a note Tuesday.

"In the course of the next week, there will be a crucial ECB monetary policy meeting, Q3 U.S. growth data and Donald Trump's decision for the next chair of the Federal Reserve's FOMC being 'very, very close,'" Perry added.

Which stocks look like key movers?

Shares in Whirlpool(WHR) fell 7.5% 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), while Sears Holdings Corp. reportedly plans to stop selling Whirlpool appliances (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sears-to-stop-selling-whirlpool-appliances-2017-10-24) in its stores.

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) could see active trading 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.

Burger chain McDonald's(MCD) , drug giant Eli Lilly & Co.(LLY) , heavy-machinery manufacturer Caterpillar Inc.(CAT) , auto maker General Motors Co.(GM) , Post-it Notes parent 3M Co.(MMM) and aerospace heavyweights United Technologies Corp.(UTX) and Lockheed Martin Corp.(LMT) are all on the earnings docket ahead of the open.

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)

What are other assets doing?

Oil futures were losing ground, while gold futures and the ICE U.S. Dollar Index inched lower. European stocks 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 06:16 ET (10:16 GMT)