U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a mixed open on Tuesday, as global markets awaited word from the Federal Reserve on further scaling back of its massive asset-purchasing program and amid a blitz of corporate earnings.
The report is "another sign that consumption is mild at best. Businesses are spending to a very minor degree, and much of that is on IT and some equipment. That bodes back to companies trying to keep productivity at peak levels with a minimum number of people," said Chip Cobb, portfolio manager at BMT Asset Management.
Ford kicked off the day's results by posting fourth quarter earnings of 31 cents per share, outpacing market expectations of 28 cents per share.
The Fed starts its two-day meeting on Tuesday, and will announce any policy changes on Wednesday. It will be the last meeting to be led by outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke, who is expected to announce another $10 billion tapering off of monthly bond purchases.
(CNBC Explains: Tapering)
Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen will be sworn in to replace Bernanke when his term ends on Friday.
The prospect of further tapering has rocked emerging markets, which tumbled last week after the Argentinian central bank announced it was relaxing its strict currency controls. However, emerging market stocks and commodities in Asia stabilized early on Tuesday.
(Track: Asian markets with CNBC)
Comcast reported fourth-quarter net income of $1.91 billion, or 72 cents a share, up from $1.52 billion, or 56 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose to $16.92 billion, above estimates of $16.625 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.)
Other economic data out on Tuesday includes the Conference Board's consumer confidence survey for January.
Consumer confidence rose in December, but Capital Economics warned that this month's unusually severe weather might have prevented another monthly rise.
"The usual determinants of sentiment such as the equity and labor markets point to a rise. But we suspect that this will be offset by the unusually cold weather, which may have prevented some households from getting to work or the shopping mall," said Capital Economics' Amna Asaf.
On Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama will make his fifth State of the Union speech.
—By CNBC's Katy Barnato