U.S. stocks edged up on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 less than 3 points away from the 1,700 level, helped by solid earnings from blue-chips DuPont and United Tech and by China's efforts to avoid a hard landing for its slowing economy.
With earnings season in full swing, Apple Inc is due to report after the closing bell. The tech giant is expected to post a smaller quarterly profit and its financial report may come under intense scrutiny. The stock was down 0.3 percent at $425.31 in early trade.
Chemical maker DuPont Co, a Dow component, said it was looking to sell or spin off its performance chemicals unit to insulate itself from flagging sales of paint pigments that have weighed on profits. The stock jumped 4.7 percent to $59.91.