Technology stocks were looking at early losses on Tuesday as disappointing Apple Inc. results weighed, while the rest of the market was aiming for a higher open as analysts suggested the recent selloff may be cooling down as overseas markets calm.
Durable-goods and consumer-confidence data are on tap early, while Ford Motor Co., DuPont and Pfizer Inc. are all also due to report ahead of the bell. Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) will report after the close.
"The rout that has rocked global-equity markets in recent days appears to be drawing to a close as the major Asian indexes finished the day broadly unchanged," said Joao Monteiro, analyst at Monex Capital Markets, in a note. "The fact Wall Street rallied back later in yesterday's session doubtless helped here, and many will be hoping that this bout of selling will have knocked some of the froth out of the market, paving the way for the start of another run higher."
Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index fell 7.25 points, or 0.2%, to 3495.75, while the Dow industrials futures piled on a 91-point, or 0.6%, gain to 15878. Futures for the S&P 500 index added 9.5 points, or 0.5%, to 1785.20.
The technology pressure was attributable to Apple (AAPL), which posted a disappointing outlook and iPhone sales tally in its fiscal second-quarter report late Monday. Shares dropped 7.6% in late trading in heavy volume, and were also looking weaker for Tuesday's pre-opening.
Ahead of the economic data, Ford (F) will report fourth-quarter earnings, seen at 27 cents a share, according to a consensus survey by FactSet.
Among the others, DuPont (DD) is expected to post earnings of 55 cents a share in the fourth quarter, and Pfizer (PFE) is projected to report fourth-quarter earnings of 52 cents a share.
Confidence among businesses and consumers will be under the microscope on Tuesday. Durable-goods data is due for release at 8:30 a.m. EST, with economists forecasting orders for big-ticket items rose 1.5% in December.
At 9 a.m. EST, the Case-Shiller index for November is expected to confirm house prices rose sharply from a year earlier.
At 10 a.m. EST, the Conference Board will issue the consumer confidence index for January, which is forecast to fall slightly to 77.6 from 78.1, partly due to a sharp pullback for Wall Street.
Wall Street finished a volatile session lower on Monday. The S&P 500 ended down 8.73 points, or 0.5%, to 1781.56 in late trade as downbeat home-sales data weighed on investors, after briefly venturing into positive territory. The Nasdaq Composite was the worst-performing index on Monday.
Emerging-market and earnings fears have combined to hit sentiment recently, dragging on stocks.
The Federal Reserve, which begins its two-day meeting on Tuesday, will ultimately matter more to investors, said analysts at UBS in a note. Emerging-market worries shouldn't overshadow the fact that the global economic upturn remains in place, and the receding fiscal drag bodes well for U.S. and European recoveries, they said.
"Ultimately, we think a repricing of U.S. short rates remains the biggest potential challenge for markets and global capital flows in 2014, though there is little evidence that Fed concerns are in play at the moment," said UBS. "In light of recent events, markets may pause, but the outperformance of risk assets is likely to reassert itself."
European stocks broke a three-day losing streak, while Asia put the day away with mostly mild losses. Crude-oil and natural-gas prices were higher, while gold was pulling south. The dollar pushed north, particularly against the British pound after data showed growth in the U.K. slowed to 0.7% in the fourth quarter.
Also within corporates, shares of Seagate Technology Inc. (STX) fell more than 6% after the computer data-drive company posted a profit below Wall Street forecasts late Monday.