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Wall Street on standby ahead of Apple, Fed

U.S. stock index futures indicated a lower open on Tuesday as the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting gets underway and investors prepared for another mass of major corporate earnings.

The market could tread water again Tuesday, as the Fed begins its two-day meeting where it is expected to hold off on an interest rate rise. The central bank releases its post-meeting statement at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday, and it is expected to leave the door open for the chance of a December rate hike.

In economic news, U.S. durable goods orders showed a decline of 1.2 percent in September.

U.S. stock index futures extended losses and Treasury yields ticked lower. The 10-year yield was 2.03 percent and the 2-year yield was 0.63 percent.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite showed U.S. home prices rose 5.1 percent from the year-ago period in August, matching analyst expectations.

Consumer confidence is due at 10 a.m.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Traders will also be closely watching Apple's third quarter earnings report, due after the bell. Shares in the tech giant came under pressure on Monday, falling over 3 percent after news that supplier Dialog Semiconductor reported preliminary earnings and guidance that missed expectations, according to Street Account. Shares of Dialog plunged 20 percent in London trade.

In addition to Apple, there's a parade of early morning results from drugmakers — Pfizer, Merck and Bristol-Myers — and firms such as Ford, UPS, BP, Cummins, Corning, Coach, Novartis, JetBlue, AK Steel, and Alibaba.

Other major earnings included:

Comcast — The NBCUniversal parent matched Street estimates with quarterly profit of 80 cents per share, while revenue was above estimates. Comcast added 320,000 high speed internet customers during the quarter, and 156,000 cable customers. (Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent of CNBC.)

DuPont — The chemical giant earned an adjusted 13 cents per share for the third quarter, 3 cents above estimates. Revenue was well short, however, as a strong dollar and other factors impacted the bottom line. DuPont said it was "not pleased" with the quarter's results.

Twitter, Gilead Sciences, Shutterfly, Owens-Illinois, Panera Bread, Equity Residential, KKR and TransUnion all report after the close.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's second-quarter revenue rose 32 percent, beating analysts' estimates, even as the value of goods transacted on its platform grew at a slower pace.

Alibaba shares rose nearly 7 percent in premarket trading following the report. (Get the latest quote here.)

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In Europe, stocks followed the negative lead set in Asia overnight. Asian stocks mostly declined on Tuesday, with the Nikkei down nearly 1 percent while Chinese stocks staged a late-session reversal to close a touch higher, amid weak commodity prices and negative industrial profits data from China.

European chipmakers were trading lower ahead of Apple's earnings. Dialog Semiconductor, saw shares tumble as much as 8 percent after it received a round of downgrades to its price target from RBC, Deutsche Bank, Natixis and Commerzbank.

Meanwhile, there appeared to be some encouraging news overnight with respect to prospects of a near-term budget deal, as Congress and the White House have reached a tentative agreement to effectively suspend the debt ceiling until March 2017, which would effectively avoid a potential government shutdown at least until after the election.

CNBC's Peter Schacknow contributed to this report

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the release time of IAC/InterActive quarterly earnings. The firm reported after the close Monday.