Stocks: Looking for cue to extend gains

u.s. stock futures, premarket
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Stocks may take another breather Tuesday as investors wait to take their next cue from earnings and economic data.

U.S. stock futures were slightly lower in the early going. After their recent four-week winning streak, stocks, which are hovering around 5-year highs, may be due for a pullback.

Ahead of the bell, Ford (F) posted higher fourth-quarter income and sales, boosted by strong results in North America. But worse-than-expected weakness from Europe weighed on Ford's shares, which slid in premarket trading.

Shares of drugmaker Pfizer (PFE) inched higher on better-than-expected quarterly results. Rival Eli Lilly and Co (LLY) reported fourth-quarter earnings and sales that also topped expectations.

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Glass maker Corning' (GLW) stock jumped after the company delivered earnings and sales ahead of forecasts.

Shares of data storage equipment maker EMC (EMC) plunged after the company's earnings outlook fell short of estimates. (AMZN) results are due after the closing bell.

Yahoo (YHOO) shares rose almost 3% premarket trading after the company posted earnings that beat expectations late Tuesday.

On the economic front, the Case-Shiller 20-city home price index will be released at 9 a.m. ET, followed by data from the Conference Board's monthly Consumer Confidence Index at 10 a.m. ET.

Tuesday also marks the start of the Federal Reserve's first monetary policy meeting of the year. At the conclusion of the two-day meeting Wednesday afternoon, investors will look for clues from the central bank's statement for when the bond buying program could end.

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U.S. stocks finished mostly flat Monday.

European markets were mostly lower in afternoon trading. Asian markets ended mixed, as Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged lower while the Shanghai Composite and Japan's Nikkei both posted gains of about 0.3%.

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