(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply lower open on the Wall Street as investors weighed quarterly reports from companies including, DuPont, United Parcel Service, United Technologies and 3M.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures retreated 158 points to 13,134. The Nasdaq futures dropped 30 points to 2,657.75. Standard and Poor's 500 futures shed 18.90 points to 1,411.20.
On the economic front, the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting starts on Tuesday, with an announcement on interest rates expected Wednesday.
There are no major U.S. economic data scheduled for the day.
On Monday, U.S. stocks ended on a modestly higher note as disappointing earnings continued to weigh on the sentiment.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: DD, UPS, UTX, MMM, YHOO, TXN, WDC, XRX, GNTX, SIAL
In corporate news, DuPont (NYSE: DD) declined 6.13 percent in premarket after the chemical company reported a sharp fall in third-quarter profit amid a 9 percent decline in sales. The company also said it would slash roughly 1,500 jobs or 2 percent of its global work force.
United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) posted a fall in earnings and revenue for the third quarter as operating expenses rose, and the package-delivery giant updated its 2012 forecast. Shares inched higher in premarket.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) reported a drop in quarterly earnings from continuing operations and the industrial conglomerate cut its 2012 sales forecast, citing the lack of recovery in the commercial aerospace aftermarket and continued uncertainty in the global economy.
3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) declined 2.84 percent in premarket after the diversified technology company reduced its earnings forecast after posting an unexpected decline in sales due to tough economic conditions and currency impacts.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) jumped 3.80 percent after the struggling Internet company posted better-than-estimated quarterly earnings.
Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) shed 1.87 percent in premarket after the chip maker issued a downbeat forecast for the fourth quarter as macro-economic concerns continue to mute growth and recovery in the semiconductor sector. The company posted mixed quarterly results.
Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) tumbled 8.48 percent in premarket after the data storage company issued a downbeat second-quarter outlook. The company posted jump in first-quarter earnings.
Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) lost 5.41 percent in premarket after the printer and copier company posted a 12 percent drop in quarterly earnings and sales trailed market expectations.
Gentex Corp. (NASDAQ: GNTX) and Sigma-Aldrich Corp. (NASDAQ: SIAL) declined 4.06 percent and 7.13 percent in premarket, respectively, following their quarterly reports. Gentex forecast flat fourth-quarter sales after reporting lower third-quarter earnings. Sigma-Aldrich posted a lower quarterly profit.
European markets traded sharply lower amid lingering worries over Spain's debt problems , with Germany's DAX down 1.49 percent to trade at 7,219.13. France's CAC40 dropped 1.41 percent to trade at 3,434. U.K.'s FTSE 100 traded at 5,812.62, down 1.19 percent.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index dropped 0.86 percent to end at 2,114.45. Japan's Nikkei 225 inched 0.04 percent higher to finish at 9,014.25. India's BSE Sensex finished at 18,710.02, down 0.44 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was shut for a holiday.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures retreated 1.50 percent to $87.32 per barrel. Gold futures shed 1.00 percent to $1,709.1 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro fell 0.46 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3000. The British pound dipped 0.19 percent against the greenback to 1.5984, and the dollar declined 0.16 percent against the Japanese yen to 79.8200.