NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a sharply lower open on Wall Street Tuesday, following a set of tepid earnings reports from Dow components DuPont (DD), 3M (MMM) and United Technologies (UTX).
Also putting pressure on sentiment were rising Spanish bond yields amid a Moody's ratings downgrade of five Spanish regions, and the Spanish central bank saying that Spain's economy might have shrank at a faster rate in the third quarter on an annual basis and that there's a risk the country might not meet 2012 budget-deficit goals.
Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) shares were down ahead of a media event Tuesday at which it's expected to launch the iPad Mini.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were falling 149 points, or 139.89 points below fair value, at 13,143. Futures for the S&P 500 were down more than 17 points, or 16.05 points below fair value, at 1412. Futures for the Nasdaq were falling more than 27 points, or 27.51 points below fair value, at 2660."On the surface, Q3 earnings appear to be coming in at or above expected levels, but much of that outperformance has come from the financials and a handful of large cap companies," said Mike PeQueen, managing director at HighTower. "Technology has generally reported weaker than expected results which bolsters the global slowdown story." "Below the surface, we see continued angst over the upcoming fiscal cliff and the slowdown in China. It is also clear that guidance for Q4 is more negative than we had anticipated which is causing us to remain cautious on the market outlook for the remainder of the year. We now expect earnings estimates to trend down over the next several weeks." DuPont posted third-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share on revenue of $7.4 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of 46 cents a share on revenue of $8.15 billion amid softened demand in the titanium dioxide and photovoltaic markets. The company said it plans to slash 1,500 jobs in an effort to boost competitiveness and productivity. Shares were tumbling more than 5.5% in premarket trading Tuesday. 3M cut its full-year profit outlook citing "current economic realities," after reporting third-quarter earnings that were in line with forecasts and revenue that disappointed. Shares were slumping by more than 2.5%. United Technologies lowered its full-year sales outlook, citing a slow recovery in the commercial aerospace aftermarket and continued uncertainty in the global economy, after beating third-quarter earnings targets but missing on the top line. Shares were flat. Shares of United Parcel Service (UPS) were up 0.94% after the delivery giant posted third-quarter earnings that matched expectations but revenue that fell short on forecasts. On Monday, Texas Instruments (TXN) delivered weaker-than-expected guidance with its third-quarter results amid ongoing weakness in the semiconductor market. Shares were down more than 2%. Yahoo! (YHOO) delivered strong quarterly numbers Monday evening and CEO Marissa Mayer presided over her first conference call Monday, but once again declined to provide guidance. Shares were rising more than 3.5%. The FTSE in London was down 0.75% and the DAX in Germany was falling 0.9%. The Nikkei Average in Tokyo finished up 0.04%. The Hong Kong markets were closed for a public holiday. December crude oil futures were down 45 cents at $88.19 a barrel. December gold futures were down $12.90 at $1,713.40 an ounce. The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 9/32, diluting the yield to 1.787%. The dollar was up 0.09%, according to the dollar index. Apple's media event Tuesday may reveal the iPad Mini. TheStreet will be live-blogging the proceedings from San Jose, Calif. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich said the product will go a long way to both bringing Apple new customers and keeping the ones it has already. Milunovich has a buy rating on Apple and a $780 price target. The stock gained 0.4% in trading Monday to close at $636.75, but was down 0.68% in premarket trading Tuesday. Facebook (FB) will issue its third-quarter earnings after the closing bell Tuesday and analysts expect the social networking giant to post earnings of 11 cents a share in the September-ended quarter on revenue of $1.23 billion. Shares were down 0.52%. Netflix (NFLX) is expected by analysts Tuesday to post a third-quarter profit of 4 cents a share on revenue of $904.9 million. The DVD rental company is expected to issue the report after Tuesday's closing bell. Shares were down 0.85%. No major U.S. economic releases were expected during the session. The Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting begins Tuesday.
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