U.S. stock futures inch higher, as investors count down to earnings season

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U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly higher open for Wall Street stocks on Tuesday, but a return to a record run for stocks looks unlikely as investors focus on the kickoff of third-quarter earnings season later this week.

What did stock benchmarks do?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures












YMZ7, +0.08%










 rose 31 points, or 0.2%, to 22,744. S&P 500 futures












ESZ7, +0.03%










 added 2.7 points, or 0.1%, to 2,546.25. Nasdaq-100 futures












NQZ7, +0.09%










 gained 8 points, or 0.1%, to 6,072.50.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average












DJIA, -0.06%










dipped less than 0.1% to 22,761, though it hit an intraday record of 22,803.37 in early trading. The S&P 500












SPX, -0.18%










 slipped 0.2% to 2,545. The Nasdaq Composite Index












COMP, -0.16%










dropped 0.2% to 6,580, ending a nine-day rally.

What could move the markets?

Investors will listen for hints to policy in comments from Federal Reserve speakers today, ahead of the release of Fed minutes on Wednesday. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is scheduled to make welcoming remarks at his bank’s conference on regional economic conditions at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. Later, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan will appear in a moderated discussion at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy research in Stanford, Calif. at 8 p.m. Eastern.

In economic data, the closely watched sentiment gauge from the National Federation of Independent Business for September is scheduled for release at 6 a.m. Eastern.

But investing sentiment could be dampened by the wait for the start of the third-quarter earnings season. That kicks off in earnest on Wednesday with reports from BlackRock Inc.












BLK, -0.17%










 and Delta Air Lines Inc.












DAL, -0.52%










 . J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.












JPM, -0.53%










 and Citigroup Inc.












C, -0.33%










  will report Thursday, followed by Bank of America Corp.












BAC, -1.37%










 and Wells Fargo & Co.












WFC, -0.79%










 on Friday.

Which stocks are in focus?

Procter & Gamble Co.












GE, -3.94%










shares may be active. At the annual general meeting on Tuesday, a proxy vote among shareholders will decide on whether Trian Fund Management LP’s chief executive officer, Nelson Peltz, gets a seat on the company’s board.

Walt Disney Co.












DIS, -0.50%










 may be in focus after the media and entertainment group released the latest trailer for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” The second film in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy will be released on Dec. 15.

Read: Carl’s Jr. wants Amazon to buy it, and gives 24 reasons why

What are other assets doing?

European stocks












SXXP, -0.07%










 were mixed, with Spain’s IBEX benchmark












IBEX, -0.54%










slipping ahead of a key speech by Catalan President Carles Puigdemont. He’s due to make an address to the region’s parliament later in the day, in which some think he could declare independence for the region. Such a move could trigger the Spanish government to take control of the Catalan government, which may result in more unrest in the region.

Asian markets traded mostly higher.

Oil futures












CLX7, +0.28%










 and gold contracts












GCZ7, +0.49%










 gained. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index












DXY, -0.31%










was down, as the dollar eased against the euro












EURUSD, +0.3151%










 and the British pound












GBPUSD, +0.3881%










 .

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