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Earnings woes hit Wall Street, China fears remain

Jenny Cosgrave
Brendan McDermid | Reuters. These are the stocks posting the largest moves before the bell.

U.S. stock index futures indicated a slightly lower open on Tuesday, ahead of a deluge of third-quarter earnings as China fears continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

Major earnings reported Tuesday include Dow Jones index components Travelers, Verizon and United Technologies before the open. Verizon and Travelers beat on both earnings per share and revenue, while United Technologies posted better-than-expected earnings but below consensus revenues.

Harley-Davidson also posted results that missed the mark on both earnings and revenues, while Lockheed Martin beat on both lines.

Companies reporting after the close include Yahoo, Chipotle MexicanGrill, Discover Financial, VMWare, iRobot, Chubb, and Pinnacle Financial.

Over a fifth of S&P 500 (^GSPC) companies are scheduled release quarterly results this week. Banking giant Morgan Stanley (MS) posted earnings per share 20 cents below estimates before the bell on Monday, with revenue disappointing.

Markets were also hit with IBM (IBM)'s larger-than-expected 14 percent decline in revenues, which were knocked by a stronger dollar and weaker hardware sales.

IBM stock fell nearly 5 percent in after-hours trading Monday, and it could be a sizable weight on the Dow in Tuesday trading.

On the data front, September housing starts came in at 1.206 million, above the expected 1.150 million.

There are also several Federal Reserve speakers including Governor Jerome Powell and New York Fed President William Dudley at 9:15 a.m. ET, who along with SEC Chair Mary Jo White are at the New York Fed for a conference on the evolving structure of the Treasury market.

Fed chair Janet Yellen will also give some 'brief welcoming remarks' at a U.S. Department of Labor ceremony.

In Europe, equities were under pressure as investor sentiment was shaken by a renewed decline in oil prices on the back of weak China data and concerns over earnings.

Asian equity markets traded mixed on Tuesday, with energy shares among the worst-hit as stubborn signs of weakness in the Chinese economy rekindled declines in oil prices.

Oil prices rebounded on Tuesday as traders covered short positions after prices fell at least 3 percent in the previous session, but gains were capped by worries about oversupply and the health of the global economy.

Brent crude for December delivery was down 8 cents to $48.53 a barrel at around 8:15 a.m. ET after settling down $1.85, or 3.7 percent, in the previous session.

U.S. crude for November delivery traded 5 cents higher at $45.94 after closing down $1.37, or 3 percent. The November contract expires on Tuesday.

—CNBC's Patti Domm contributed to this report.

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