LONDON (ShareCast) – Dow Futures pointed towards a lower open on Tuesday, as disappointing earnings weighed on the markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is expected to open around 275 points lower than Monday’s close while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are expected to begin the session 24 and 60 points lower respectively.

The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq are expected to be open for business as usual on Tuesday, after the blizzard that has hit the East Coast was downgraded.

Orders for durable US good declined 3.4% in December, registering the fourth decline in the past five months and falling well below the expected 0.1% decline.

According to figures released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, durable goods orders for November were revised to show a 2.1% drop instead of a 0.9% drop.

“Durable-goods orders has had its worst three months since 2012,” Nour Al-Hammoury, chief market strategist at ADS Securities, said in a note on Tuesday.

UK growth data also disappointed investors, as growth slowed down to 0.5% from 0.7% from the previous quarter.

“We expect growth to continue at a slightly stronger pace, showing some moderation towards the end of the year as the impact of fiscal consolidation becomes measurable again,” Barclays (LSE: BARC.L – news) analysts in London said in an emailed statement.

In corporate news, Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT – news) was trading almost 8% lower ahead of the bell, after JP Morgan cut the company to neutral from overweight. The tech giant’s commercial sales fell below expectations late on Monday.

“A lower outlook for PC software sales at Microsoft is expected to send shares lower at the open and act as a drag on US markets as the Fed begins its two-day meeting ahead of earnings from tech giants Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL – news) and Yahoo (NasdaqGS: YHOO – news) ! after the close,” said CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler.

“Microsoft beat earnings estimates and announced a share buyback scheme of $ 30bn which is larger than previous years although perhaps not quite as aggressive as some had called for, but it was the outlook on software that will do the damage.” Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT – news) fell almost 8% in pre-market trading after announcing a disappointing outlook for 2015 and reporting lower-than-expected earnings, while DuPont fell almost 3% after posting a 5% decline in fourth quarter sales.

Procter & Gamble fell almost 3% after disappointing results, while Pfizer (NYSE: PFE – news) slid after a downbeat profit and sales outlook.

The dollar lost 1% against the pound and the euro and dropped over 0.6% against the pound, while gold futures advanced to $ 1,288.00.

The prices of oil were largely unchanged, with West Texas Intermediate trading at just over $ 45 a barrel and Brent trading at just over $ 48 a barrel.