By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Bank of America reported its first profit increase in three quarters and also beat analysts' estimates by a large margin.
Shares of the second-biggest U.S. bank by assets rose 1.37 percent in heavy premarket trading, and helped lift stocks of other banks, including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
The third-quarter earnings season is at the front and center of investors' attention as they hope for a rebound in the second-half of the year after a weak first-half performance.
Earnings of S&P 500 companies are expected to have dipped 0.4 percent in the third quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, but better-than-expected reports could shore up profits for the period.
"I think we're headed for a bumpy session with earnings leading the way," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.
"It's also a jittery market ahead of the elections and of course the prospects of a rate hike in December."
The markets have been struggling to maintain momentum in the past few weeks amid changing dynamics of the U.S. presidential elections and varying signals on interest rate hikes.
The benchmark S&P 500 index has been alternating between losses and gains for the past seven days.
Dow e-minis were down 19 points, or 0.11 percent at 8:37 a.m. ET, with 30,500 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.5 points, or 0.12 percent, with 160,789 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 8.5 points, or 0.18 percent, on volume of 26,684 contracts.
Shares of Hasbro were up 5.24 percent at $80.15 after the toymaker reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit. Shares of larger rival Mattel rose 1.3 percent.
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, who has at times supported higher interest rates, is scheduled to speak in New York at 12:15 p.m. ET (1615 GMT).
Meanwhile, at 9:15 a.m. ET, investors will get a reading on U.S. industrial output which likely recovered in September to rise 0.2 percent after having fallen 0.4 percent the previous month.
IBM and video streaming website Netflix are scheduled to report results after markets close.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)