U.S. stock futures traded flat to slightly higher at the start of a week featuring dozens of major earnings reports, as well as a Federal Reserve statement and a slew of macroeconomic data.
Stocks ended mixed last week, as the performance of technology stocks dragged down the Nasdaq.
The earnings began before-the-bell, with Dow component McDonald's falling in pre-market trading despite reporting earnings of $1.16 a share, in line with expectations, and above the $1.03 a share posted a year earlier. McDonald's sales results were better than expected, rising to $6.21 billion from $5.97 billion last year. The fast food chain was expected to earn about $6.20 billion, according to the consensus of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
And Halliburton shares also slipped despite reporting better-than-expected profits and sales. Rival Schlumberger was flat after reporting strong results on Friday.
Fellow Dow component American Express reports earnings after the bell, along with CSX , Amgen and Texas Instruments .
On Friday, CNBC parent posted a better-than-expected profit, helped by strong emerging-market demand for heavy equipment, boosting the market and sparking optimism the economy was strengthening.
Shares of the world's largest maker of jet engines and electric turbines rose 7 percent on Friday, hitting their highest level since November 2008, and making GE the biggest lift to the Dow Jones industrial average.
Philips Electronics, which competes with General Electric in some businesses, warned on Monday however that consumers in mature markets would be reluctant to spend this year. The group blamed weak TV sales for disappointing fourth-quarter profit.
JCPenney rose after news it was closing some stores, outlets and call center locations to streamline operations and boost profits, and that Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado Realty Trust William Ackman, the activist investors, are joining the board.
RockTenn has agreed to buy rival Smurfit-Stone Container for $3.5 billion in cash and stock seven months after Smurfit emerged from bankruptcy with less debt and higher profit potential. The combined company would be the second largest container board producer after International Paper . The merger was approved by the boards of both companies.
With no macroeconomic data scheduled for Monday, investors will look ahead to the Federal Reserve’s meeting Tuesday and Wednesday, and several measures of the housing market, including the S&P Case Shiller Home Price Index on Tuesday and new home sales figures on Wednesday.
The Fed was not expected to take any action at its two-day meeting, but it could comment on the economy and inflation outlook. Later this week, the focus will shift to reports on consumer sentiment and fourth quarter gross domestic product.