Stocks: 4 things to know before the open

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Wall Street and the Federal Reserve take center stage Tuesday as investors look for reassurance that company profits and cheap central bank money will continue to support markets.

Here are the four things you need to know before the opening bell rings in New York:

1. Bank earnings: Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) post quarterly earnings before the opening bell, a day after Citigroup (C) reported earnings that beat expectations and announced a $7 billion settlement with the federal government over mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial crisis.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) will also report before the opening bell. Intel (INTC) and Yahoo (YHOO) earnings are due after the close.

2. Midterm Fed report: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will deliver her semiannual monetary policy report to the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m. ET. Economic data has been improving, raising questions about whether the Fed will begin to moderate its supportive tone.

"But what we have seen and heard of Janet Yellen since she took over ... suggests it's too soon to look for any hawkish notes to her comments," noted Kit Juckes at Societe Generale.

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3. Stock market movers -- Boeing, Valero Energy: Shares in Boeing (BA) were up nearly 1% premarket as the planemaker and its main rival Airbus woo customers at the aviation industry's biggest annual gathering. Valero (VLO) shares were down nearly 3% after the oil refiner told investors that quarterly earnings would come in below market expectations.

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4. Markets overview: U.S. stock futures and European markets were slipping lower, after Germany's ZEW index of investor sentiment came in weaker than expected. Asian markets were mixed.

U.S. stocks closed higher Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 112 points, finishing the day back above 17,000. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both closed up around 0.5%.

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