Wall Street eyes earnings, Greece debt

U.S. stock index futures signaled a higher open on Tuesday, as negotiations over Greece's bailout program continue to keep investors cautious.

Rumors of a possible six-month extension for Greece briefly sent futures to session highs.

Concerns over the Greek debt negotiations continue to weigh on market sentiment. Speaking from Washington, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was looking for a "viable recommendation" from Greece on Monday, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reiterated his pledge to end Greece's current bailout Sunday.

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German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.
Fabrizio Bensch | Reuters
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.

The bodies making sure Greece sticks to the bailout's rules —the troika of the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Commission – have said Greece will not receive a final tranche of aid under the current bailout plan. The ECB has also refused Greece's request for a bridging loan to tide it over once its bailout officially ends February 28.

European equities were mixed on Tuesday as the impasse between Greece and its international creditors continues.

UBS, the biggest Swiss bank, doubled its full-year dividend to mark its biggest payout since the credit crisis Tuesday, but warned the Swiss franc's strength could hit future profits. Shares of the bank were trading 2 percent lower in Europe following the results.

Coca-Cola earned an adjusted 44 cents per share for the fourth quarter, two cents above estimates, with revenue above forecasts as well. Global case volume was roughly in line with estimates.

Starwood Hotels earned an adjusted 97 cent per share for its latest quarter, well above estimates of 76 cents, and also announced plans to spin off its timeshare business.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals reported adjusted quarterly profit of $2.79 per share, three cents short of estimates, though revenue exceeded analyst forecasts. Regeneron did see strong demand for its eye drug Eylea.

Reynolds American reported that fourth-quarter profit fell 49 percent on pension charges and other costs.

Dean Foods, the largest U.S. milk processor, reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales and profit as raw milk prices remained stubbornly high.

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KKR reported a much higher-than-expected 89 percent year-on-year drop in fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, making it the latest alternative asset manager to report lower earnings as a result of the plunge in oil prices.

Western Union, Pioneer Natural Resources and Willis Group Holdings are all due after the bell.

The week continues with a fairly light data schedule Tuesday, when wholesale inventories figures for December are due at 10:00 am ET. JOLTS job opening data for December, also released at 10:00 am ET, may be of interest in the context of last week's robust labor market data.

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Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker is also due to speak on education and economic growth at a forum in North Carolina early Tuesday.

Wires contributed to this report.