Stock-index futures rise on earnings; data weighs

Wall Street looked set for a higher market open on Tuesday, as traders eyed earnings from Facebook, Pfizer, Verizon, United Technologies and Intuitive Surgical.

Stock-index futures cut gains after data showing orders for U.S. durable goods fell 1.3 percent last month, compared to expectations of a gain of 0.5 percent.

Another report had home prices up 5.6 percent in August in 20 metropolitan areas.

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The Federal Open Market Committee begins its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday morning. It is expected to declare the end of its quantitative easing program when it releases its statement Wednesday afternoon.

Coca-cola vending machine at school
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The U.S. consumer confidence reading for October is due on Tuesday. It is expected to show a slight improvement following the marked drop in September.

"The favorable impact of lower gasoline prices on household budgets seems likely to have outweighed consumer concerns about volatile equity markets and the (remote) risk of the Ebola virus spreading in the U.S.," said Daiwa Capital Markets' Robert Kuenzel in a research note on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index is expected to signal prices edged higher in September.

Stock watch

BP started the parade of earnings earlier on Tuesday, when it reported a jump in third-quarter operating cash flow and hiked its dividend. This was despite lower oil prices and a steep drop in contributions from Russia due to the depreciating ruble.

Twitter shares dropped sharply in after-hours trading after the social-media giant reported third-quarter revenue that misses expectations.

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However, shares of Regal Entertainment Group rocketed 17 percent in after-hours trade after the U.S.'s largest theatre chain said it was considering a sale. Regal said it had hired a Morgan Stanley to assist in the review process, and also reported a steep drop in its third-quarter profit.

Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter, after rumors that sales fell last month caused shares to drop 5 percent on Monday.

"Article in @WSJ re Tesla sales is incorrect. September was a record high WW and up 65% year-over-year in North America," Musk tweeted.

Correction: Companies posting third-quarterearnings on Tuesday include Facebook, Pfizer, Verizon, UnitedTechnologies and IntuitiveSurgical.