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Stock Futures Slip on Earnings

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks futures were pointing to a weaker open Tuesday as investors absorbed the latest earnings news a day ahead of the expected unveiling of a definitive plan for the European debt crisis.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 47 points, or 80 points below fair value, at 11,778. Futures for the S&P 500 were shedding 4 points, or nearly 7 points below fair value, at 1243, and Nasdaq futures were off by 5 points, or 10 points below fair value, at 2370.

A rally on strong earnings from Caterpillar (CAT) and a surge of deals news on Monday pushed the Nasdaq into positive territory for the year. The Dow is also positive for the year, and the S&P 500 is close, down only 0.27% year-to-date, based on Monday's closing level of 1254.

In the latest earnings news, Dow component DuPont (DD) soared past analysts' profit projections of 56 cents a share with adjusted earnings of 69 cents a share and lifted the bottom range of earnings expectations for 2011. Shares were rising 2.8% to $47.40 ahead of Tuesday's opening bell.

Diversified technology company 3M (MMM) reported third-quarter profit of $1.52 a share. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $1.61 a share. The company now expects full-year earnings in the range of $5.85 to $5.95 a share, down from the prior expected range of $6.10 to $6.25 a share. Shares were tumbling 5.1% to $78.

Shares of Deutsche Bank (DB) were gaining 2.2% to $40.46 in early trading reporting a better-than-expected net profit of €777 million ($1.1 billion). Strength across Deutsche's consumer banking segment helped mitigate weaker profits from trading securities amid ongoing volatility from Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

BP (BP) saw its stock jump 4.5% to $43.73 after the oil company said profits rose to $4.9 billion in the third quarter from $1.8 billion a year ago and revenue grew 31% to $97.6 billion.

UBS (UBS) reported a 39% drop in profits, which still beat expectations at 1.02 billion Swiss francs ($1.16 billion). The drop in third-quarter earnings was largely a result of last month's loss from a rogue trader. The stock was up 2.9% to $12.95 during the premarket session.

European leaders are continuing efforts to nail down a comprehensive plan to stem the region's debt crisis, which they hope to finalize at a summit on Wednesday. So far, banks will likely have to raise about 100 billion euros, or $140 billion, to bolster their capital and take a 40% to 60% writedown on Greek debt. Progress on increasing the firepower of the rescue fund remains vague after leaders meeting over the weekend ruled out using the European Central Bank to expand the fund.

London's FTSE was inching 0.2% higher, and Germany's DAX was adding 1%. Overnight, Asian markets saw a mixed close. Japan's Nikkei Average slipped 0.9%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.1%.

The value of residential real estate across 20 major metropolitan regions remained unchanged in August on an adjusted basis, as expected, after a flat reading in July. Year-over-year, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index fell 3.8%, which was a slightly lighter decline than the drop of 3.6% that economists had been expecting.

An hour later, the Conference Board will issue consumer confidence data for October. The market is anticipating a slightly higher reading of 46 after September's reading of 45.4.

At the same time, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is expected to report a 0.3% uptick in housing prices in August, compared with growth of 0.8% in July.

On Monday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency offered some relief to homeowners who owe more on their homes than the properties are worth by making it easier for underwater borrowers to refinance. Lower mortgage payments are expected to improve the spending power of strapped consumers.

The dollar index, a measure of the dollar's value against a basket of currencies, was slipping 0.22%, and the euro was enjoying its fifth day of gains, up 0.13% against the greenback. The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down 5/32, lifting the yield to 2.255%.

In commodity markets, gold for December delivery was gaining $11.20 to trade at $1,663.50 an ounce, and the December crude oil contract was adding $2.47 to trade at $93.74 a barrel.

-- Written by Melinda Peer in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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