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Merck, Twitter earnings in focus on Wall Street

Wall Street looked set for a lower open on Monday, ahead of big third-quarter earnings like Merck, T-Mobile US and Twitter.

Six Dow-listed companies will report this week, including pharmaceutical giant Merck, which will report before markets open on Monday. A raft of 143 S&P 500 companies will post numbers during the week.

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The market mood is expected to be cautious ahead of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting beginning on Tuesday. Speculation is high as to whether the central bank will announce an end to its bond-buying program and hint as to the timing of a hike to record-low interest rates.

"We expect a $15 billion taper to end quantitative easing, and little change in rhetoric," said economists at Mizuho Bank in a report.

Economic data due on Monday include pending home sales data for September.