Another batch of quarterly earnings statements, comments from the Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota and a small business optimism index could hold investors’ interest on a day devoid of significant data releases.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or DJIA, were up 0.14 percent while those on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.17 percent, and futures on the Nasdaq Composite Index were down 0.22 percent.

Kocherlakota, who is known for his dovish sentiments and has urged the Fed to keep short-term interest rates low until unemployment remains above 5.5 percent, is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. EST, according to MarketWatch.

According to a Capital Economics note from Tuesday: “There is growing speculation that when the Fed eventually announces a tapering of its asset purchases, it will simultaneously strengthen its forward guidance on interest rates in order to limit any market fall-out, perhaps by lowering its unemployment rate threshold.”

President of the Atlanta Fed, Dennis Lockhart, is scheduled to speak at Auburn University at 1 p.m. while Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher will speak from Melbourne, Australia, MarketWatch reported.

On the earnings front, DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA), NRG Energy Inc (NYSE:NRG) and D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE:DHI) are among those expected to announce quarterly earnings before markets open.

The National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Optimism Index for October is scheduled to be released at 7:30 a.m. EST. The survey of NFIB’s members is aimed at providing an understanding of business owners’ plans to hire, expand capacity and borrow funds.

In Europe, markets were mostly down, MarketWatch reported, and the Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.48 percent. London’s FTSE were both down 0.15 percent, France's CAC-40 was trading down 0.24 percent and Germany's DAX-30 was down 0.22 percent.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei shot up 2.23 percent, helped along by a weak yen, while South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.92 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was mildly up 0.11 percent. In China, markets were mixed with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index down 0.73 percent and the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.82 percent. India’s BSE Sensex was down 1.02 percent.