Fred Imbert, Silvia Amaro
As of 7:56 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 56 points higher, indicating a gain of 35.78 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to slight gains.
Shares of 3M rose 3 percent in the premarket after the company reported better-than-expected earnings. Pfizer, Allergan, Verizon and Biogen also posted stronger-than-forecast profits. Investors will be waiting for more earnings reports after the bell, with companies like Apple, Amgen and eBay set to report.
Market focus is also largely attuned to global trade developments, after prospects for a long-awaited U.S.-China trade deal were dealt another setback. It comes after Washington leveled sweeping charges against Beijing's telecom giant Huawei.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed criminal charges Monday against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China tech giant Huawei and the daughter of its founder and president Ren Zhengfei.
The news comes shortly before Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is set to meet U.S. officials on Wednesday and Thursday. Market participants fear the jolt to Huawei could undermine the chances of the world's two largest economies reaching a comprehensive trade deal.
On Monday, Caterpillar stoked fears over Chinese growth with its shares falling 9.1 percent. The industrial giant posted weaker-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter and said its sales in the Asia/Pacific region declined because of lower demand in China.
In terms of economic data, there will be consumer confidence numbers out at 10 a.m. ET as well as fourth-quarter housing vacancies. The Dallas Fed services numbers will be out at 10.30 a.m. ET.
The Federal Reserve is due to start its two-day meeting Tuesday with a decision on interest rates due Wednesday.
—CNBC's Sam Meredith contributed to this article.