(Corrects spelling of Moody's in first paragraph.)
* Apple to unveil smaller tablet computer
* Spanish yields rise after Moody's downgrade of regions
* United Tech, DuPont post earnings
* Futures down: Dow 142 pts, S&P 16.6 pts, Nasdaq 29 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Oct 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set for a
sharply lower open on Tuesday as earnings from a host of of
large multinational companies and a Moody's credit rating
downgrade of several regions in Spain triggered concerns about
the slowing global economy.
United Technologies Corp reported a 3.3 percent
decline in third-quarter earnings and cut its sales forecast for
the year, citing weak demand from airlines and an uncertain
Fellow Dow Jones Industrial Average component DuPont
reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday and
announced 1,500 job cuts as part of a cost savings program
designed to offset falling sales around the world. Its shares
tumbled 7.1 percent to $46.25 in premarket trade.
3M Co lost 2.4 percent to $90.33 in premarket trade
after the diversified U.S. manufacturer reported a 6.7 percent
rise in third-quarter profit, but the company cut its profit
forecast for the full year as acquisition costs and a
strengthening dollar hurt margins.
"The writing has been on the wall for a while, it's a very
tough environment, it's tough to generate new revenues so it
shouldn't be too big a surprise we are having people miss on
that front," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer
at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
Adding to the global economic concerns was a fall in Spanish
bond prices after Moody's downgraded five of the country's
regions including economically important but deeply indebted
"We had gone through a period starting with (European
Central Bank President) Draghi's announcement from the ECB that
he would stand behind the sovereign debt where Spain situation
had kind of faded from people's view and it's bubbling up
again," Jankovskis said.
S&P 500 futures fell 16.6 points and were well below
fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into
account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures dropped
142 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 29 points.
United Parcel Service Inc reported a lower quarterly
profit on Tuesday, citing slowing global trade, and said there
was "some uncertainty" about the strength of the coming holiday
season. Its shares, however, advanced 1.5 percent to $72.64 in
According to Thomson Reuters data, 33 S&P 500 companies are
scheduled to post earnings on Tuesday. Of the 123 S&P 500
companies that have reported earnings through Monday morning,
60.2 percent have topped analysts' expectations, shy of the 62
percent average since 1994 and below the 67 percent average over
the past four quarters.
Overall earnings for S&P500 stock index companies are
expected to fall 2.4 percent in the third quarter from a year
ago. Even more disconcerting to investors, top-line expectations
have been more discouraging, with 61 percent of companies having
missed revenue expectations.
Apple Inc shed 0.7 percent to $629.50 in premarket
trade. The company is expected to make its biggest product move
on Tuesday since the iPad's debut two years ago, launching a
smaller, cheaper tablet into a market staked out by Amazon.com
Inc and Google Inc.
Whirlpool Corp gained 2.5 percent to $88.50 after
reporting a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by
price increases and tight cost controls, and the world's largest
appliance maker raised its earnings outlook for the year.
RadioShack Corp plunged 14.2 percent to $2.05 in
premarket after the consumer electronics chain reported a much
wider-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by weak margins in its
The U.S. Federal Reserve's policy committee is also set to
begin the first day of a two-day meeting on interest rate policy
on Tuesday. The Federal Open Market Committee is likely to hold
off from taking fresh steps at the meeting, opting to review the
impact of the significant action it took last month and keep a
low profile in its last gathering before the Nov. 6 general
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak)