Futures were already pointing to a lower open as news surrounding Spain unnerved investors.
The euro fell below the key $1.30 level after ratings agency Moody's downgraded five of Spain's regional governments, including Catalonia -- the largest. And the gross domestic product for Spain, which has been mired in recession for months, fell by 0.4% in the third quarter from the second quarter, according to data released Tuesday from the Bank of Spain.
European stocks were lower in midday trading. Britain's FTSE 100 ( fell 1.2%, the )DAX (in Germany lost 1.4% and France's )CAC 40 ( declined 0.8%. )
With no data on the U.S. economy, investors were focused on the latest quarterly reports from Corporate America.
Shares DuPont (Fortune 500) fell 5% ahead of the bell after the Dow component reported weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings and announced plans to cut 1,500 jobs worldwide. Another Dow component, , United Technologies (Fortune 500), reported better-than-expected earnings but missed on revenue and lowered its revenue forecast for next year. ,
Economic bellwether and Dow component 3M (Fortune 500)reported earnings that were in line with forecasts, but the company missed revenue estimates and pulled back on its guidance. ,
UPS (Fortune 500), another economic bellwether, reported results that were roughly in line with expectations. ,
After the bell, Facebook ( and )Netflix ( will release their reports. )
Analysts at S&P Capital IQ predict third-quarter earnings for companies in the S&P 500 will grow by just 0.04% overall this quarter, the worst since the third quarter of 2009.
U.S. stocks closed a choppy session little changed on Monday.
Shares of hard drive maker Western Digital Corporation (Fortune 500) were down 4% in early action Tuesday, after the company offered weak guidance on Monday for the upcoming quarter, citing weakness in the PC industry. ,
Oil for December delivery $1.13 to $87.53 a barrel.
Gold futures for December delivery $14 to $1,712.20 an ounce.
Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury edged higher, pushing the yield down to 1.77% from 1.80% late Monday.
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