Stock futures added to losses after disappointing earnings results from Citigroup and TD Ameritrade and the cementing of the deal for Kraft to buy Cadbury.
Citi reported a net loss of 33 cents per share, about on par with analyst estimates, but its revenue was lower than expected and shares slipped in premarket trading, though they quickly came off their lows.
The early-morning headlines also were dominated by the deal that many thought might never be struck.
Cadbury accepted an improved cash-and-stock offer fromKraft Foods worth about $19 billion. Kraft raised the cash part of its original bid and lowered the stock portion, something that may ease concerns expressed about the first bid from Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway is a major Kraft shareholder.
Dow component Kraft shares fell 2.3 percent in premarket trading, while Cadbury rose 4.8 percent.
Futures also came under pressure from weak results at online brokerage TD Ameritrade, which said earnings fell 26 percent due to thin trading volume. Its shares dropped 1.75 percent premarket.
In other earnings, Forest Labs and Parker-Hannifin are also scheduled to report. Tuesday's after-the-bell schedule includes Dow component IBM and Dow transport component CSX .
There was other deal news.
Tyco International will acquire Broadview Security in a $1.9 billion deal that will unite two of the largest home and business security companies in North America. Brink's Home Security operates as Broadview. Tyco shares gained 1 percent premarket while Brink's jumped more than 32 percent.
The National Association of Home Builders will put out its monthly sentiment index at 1 pm New York time, with economists looking for a slight uptick in the index to a reading of 17 for January compared to December's reading of 16.
January 27 is shaping up to be a news-filled day as two major events have appeared on the schedule: President Obama's state of the union address, as well as an Apple event at which the company is expected to announce a new tablet-style computer.
And Japan Airlineshas filed for bankruptcy protection. The carrier is slashing nearly 16,000 jobs and will remain in business thanks to backing from the government. It currently owes more than $25 billion.
- Written by Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk.