US stock futures mixed ahead of reports

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NEW YORK (AP) ? U.S. stock futures were mixed Tuesday on corporate earnings reports and ahead of a fresh reading on consumer confidence.

Strong profit growth reported by companies across industries has helped the S&P 500 rise 10.9 percent in October. On Tuesday, earnings reports were mixed.

DuPont, Coach Inc. and U.S. Steel all reported profit gains above analysts’ expectations.

But 3M, the maker of Post-Its and Scotch tape, said its third-quarter earnings fell 2 percent. It also expects growth to remain slow through the year, and it cut its 2011 earnings expectations.

Netflix fell 35 percent in premarket trading. It said late Monday that even more customers left its service than expected after raising prices in July.

Economists expect a report later Tuesday morning to show that Americans’ confidence in the economy is still weak. Consumer confidence is near where it was in the spring of 2009. But that hasn’t stopped them from spending. Retail sales grew 1.1 percent in September, their strongest pace in seven months.

The S&P 500 closed Monday at its highest level since Aug. 3. The last time the S&P 500 gained more than 10 percent in a month was December 1991.

An hour ahead of the opening of trading, Dow Jones industrial average futures are down 19 points, or 0.2 percent, to 11,806. S&P 500 futures are down 0.90, or 0.1 percent, to 1,246.20. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 0.75 to 2,375.50.