MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Indexes Poised To End October On A High Note

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Aetna, Pfizer, Archer Daniels report results

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U.S. futures pointed to gains at the open on Tuesday, led by Nasdaq, as a strong month for equities, underpinned by optimism around technology stocks, draws to a close.

Looking ahead, the Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day meeting later in the session, while investors will also get fresh data on house prices and consumer sentiment.

What are stock-index futures doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 36 points, or 0.2%, to 23,329, while those for the S&P 500 index gained 4.95 points, or 0.2%, to 2,573.25. Meanwhile, Nasdaq-100 index futures rose 20 points, or 0.3%, to 6,244.24.

U.S. stocks finished lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-set-to-catch-their-breath-after-last-weeks-blowout-gains-2017-10-30) on Monday after a report that the House of Representatives may phase in a cut to corporate taxes, rather than immediately enact it.

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Read: The Dow just logged its longest period without a 1% intraday move since 1930 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-dow-just-logged-its-longest-period-without-a-1-drop-in-nearly-40-years-2017-10-30)

With one session left to go in September, the Dow industrials is poised for a 4.2% gain for October, while the S&P 500 is looking at a rise of around 2%. That would be the best month since February 2017 for each index. The Nasdaq Composite Index is set to move just over 3% higher, for its best advance since July 2017.

Check out:Here's a lower-risk strategy for an expensive stock market (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-a-lower-risk-strategy-for-an-expensive-stock-market-2017-10-30)

What could drive the markets?

Among companies reporting quarterly results ahead of the open, Aetna (AET) rose over 1% in premarket after an earnings came in ahead of analysts' estimates (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/aetna-shares-surge-on-q3-profit-beat-increased-2017-earnings-guidance-2017-10-31).Pfizer Inc.(PFE) shares also gained over 1% after a profit beat and a lift to its 2017 earnings outlook (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/pfizer-shares-surge-on-q3-profit-beat-raised-2017-earnings-outlook-2017-10-3).

Read:Company parses earnings calls to identify speech patterns that move stock prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-company-is-parsing-speech-patterns-on-earnings-calls-that-can-move-stock-prices-2017-10-11)

Under Armour Inc. (UAA) slid 11% on a revenue miss and profit warning (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/under-armour-shares-sink-after-revenue-miss-profit-warning-2017-10-31). Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM)(ADM) stock slid over 3% after an earnings miss (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/archer-daniels-stock-slides-2-after-earnings-miss-2017-10-31).

Kellogg Co.(K) and HCA Healthcare Inc.(HCA) are still ahead.

After the close, Electronic Arts Inc.(EA) and U.S. Steel Corp.(X) are scheduled to report.

Big tech earnings are a just a day away, with Tesla Inc (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-earnings-model-3-production-demand-under-the-microscope-again-2017-10-25).(TSLA) and Facebook Inc (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/facebook-earnings-two-ways-the-social-networking-titan-can-grow-even-larger-2017-10-30).(FB) both due to report Wednesday. Shares of Apple Inc. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-earnings-iphone-x-supply-is-the-question-but-the-answer-may-not-matter-2017-10-30)(AAPL) , which reports Thursday, closed Monday at a record high of $166.72 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-closes-at-record-high-market-cap-tops-860-billion-2017-10-30) on optimism ahead of those results.

Read: EarningsWatch -- Apple, Tesla and Facebook are post-Halloween treats (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/earningswatch-apple-tesla-and-facebook-are-post-halloween-treats-2017-10-30)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/earningswatch-apple-tesla-and-facebook-are-post-halloween-treats-2017-10-30)A number of economic reports are due. The third-quarter employment cost index should come at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, forecast to rise to 0.7% from 0.5% the previous quarter. That's followed by the Case-Shiller home price index for August at 9 a.m. Eastern.

The Chicago purchasing managers' index for October is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. Eastern. The consumer confidence index for the same month is due at 10 a.m. Eastern, and it is forecast to rise to 121.3 from 119.8 in September.

See:MarketWatch's economic calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

The two-day Federal Reserve meeting, which isn't expected to yield any changes to monetary policy, begins Tuesday. Investors will watch for clues on the health of the economy and inflation as gauged by policy makers.

Read:Fed statement may have treats for the hawks and the doves (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-statement-may-have-treats-for-both-hawks-and-doves-2017-10-27)

As to the next Fed chief, President Donald Trump will reveal his choice Thursday, a White House official said (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-to-announce-his-pick-for-fed-chair-on-thursday-2017-10-30). Fed Gov. Jerome Powell is tipped as the pick by several media outlets. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-leaning-toward-appointing-powell-to-fed-report-2017-10-27)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-leaning-toward-appointing-powell-to-fed-report-2017-10-27)Which stocks are in focus?

Shares of Qualcomm Inc.(QCOM) slid 6% in premarket on a report that in The Wall Street Journal (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qualcomm-shares-slide-6-on-report-apple-may-drop-use-of-its-chips-2017-10-31)that Apple may drop chip maker's components upcoming iPads and iPhones. Apple has accused Qualcomm of using its market dominance to charge unfair royalties and block competitors.

Mastercard (MA) shares rose 1.2% after the company reported better-than-expected revenue and profit, with revenue of $3.40 billion, compared to analysts consensus forecasts surveyed by FactSet for revenue of $3.28 billion.

Check out: AMD stock turns negative for year on doubts about cryptocurrency, gaming growth (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amd-stock-drops-amid-doubts-about-cryptocurrency-gaming-growth-2017-10-30)

Mondelez International Inc.(MDLZ) posted forecast-beating earnings and revenue (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mondelez-profit-jumps-81-in-third-quarter-shares-5-higher-2017-10-30) and share rose 5.8% in premarket.

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sanmina-shares-fall-on-earnings-miss-outlook-2017-10-30) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apptio-shares-rally-as-results-outlook-top-street-view-2017-10-30)Chegg Inc.(CHGG) slid 3.6% in premarket. Losses came even after the education-focused company posted stronger-than-expected earnings and lifted guidance (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chegg-rises-to-record-levels-after-earnings-beat-raised-guidance-2017-10-30).

Rent-A-Center Inc.(RCII) jumped over 4% in premarket after the company said it was exploring "strategic and financial alternatives" to turn around the company (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rent-a-center-to-explore-alternatives-posts-quarterly-loss-2017-10-30).

What are other markets doing?

The ICE Dollar Index was modestly up at 94.615.

Brent oil prices and U.S. crude prices were a little lower. Gold drifted south at $1,274.10 an ounce.

Stocks in Europe moved higher as a stream of earnings reports arrived. Spanish stocks again outpaced the gains with a 1% move up.

In Asia, stocks finished mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nikkei-retreats-ahead-of-boj-announcement-2017-10-30), marked by losses for the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong. But Korea's Kospi Composite Index posted a record close on blowout results for heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co. (005930.SE) .

Read:Bank of Japan leaves monetary policy unchanged (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bank-of-japan-leaves-monetary-policy-unchanged-2017-10-30)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 31, 2017 08:14 ET (12:14 GMT)