Futures edged lower Tuesday after investors became nervous following comments from Germany's Angela Merkel ahead of Wednesday's EU summit and following a slew of mixed earnings reports.
Investors grew nervous after Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said she is opposed to a phrase in a draft conclusion for Wednesday's EU summit that calls for the ECB to continue buying bondsin the secondary market.
European shares slipped following the news.
On the economic front, home prices were largely unchanged in August, rising just 0.2 percent, pointing to a real estate market that has yet to gain momentum, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. Economists had expected a gain of 0.1 percent, according to a Reuters poll.
Among earnings, DuPont gained after the chemical maker posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit and boosted its 2011 earnings forecast.
Meanwhile, fellow Dow component 3M tumbled after the conglomerate missed earnings expectations and lowered its outlookamid a lackluster electronics market and weak demand.
Deutsche Bank gained after the financial giant topped earnings estimates, as stronger consumer banking helped offset falling profits from trading securities. Meanwhile, UBS also rose after the Swiss bank posted a smaller-than-expected earnings decline as its central wealth management unit performed well.
United Parcel Services slipped even after the global shipping company posted higher-than-expected earnings and affirmed its outlook for record results in 2011.
Xerox rallied after the digital imaging firm topped profit and revenue expectations as it signed more long-term deals to provide business services to companies.
BPreported lower underlying profit for the quarter despite higher oil prices, but the oil giant's shares rose as the profit was ahead of forecasts. The firm has reached an "operational turning point" after the Gulf of Mexico disaster last year, chief executive Bob Dudley told CNBC Tuesday.
Netflix tanked more than 30 percent after the movie-streaming firm announced it lost more customers than expected.
Tech firms Amazon.com and Broadcom are among companies scheduled to post earnings after-the-bell tonight.
Stocks closed higher but off their best levels in the previous session following a flurry of M&A news and some encouraging earnings reports.
Consumer confidence data for October will be released at 10 am.
and a consensus of Briefing.com economists see the index at 46, higher than September's 45.4.
—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: twitter.com/JeeYeonParkCNBC—
On Tap This Week:
TUESDAY: S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, consumer confidence, FHFA house price index, 2-yr note auction, USDA food prices outlook; Earnings from Amazon.com and Broadcom
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage applications, durable goods orders, new home sales, oil inventories, 5-yr note auction; Earnings from Boeing, Ford, ConocoPhillips, GlaxoSmithKline, Sprint and Visa
THURSDAY: GDP, jobless claims, pending home sales index, 7-yr note auction, Motorola begins pre-orders for Droid Razr on Verizon; Earnings from AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers, ExxonMobil, P&G, Royal Dutch Shell, Aetna, Motorola Solutions, Time Warner Cable, AMD, Motorola Mobility, Gilead Sciences, Baidu and Electronic Arts
FRIDAY: Personal income & outlays, employment cost index, consumer sentiment; Earnings from Chevron and Merck