Wednesday May 11th


Last trickle of earnings and oil inventories in focus on Wall Street

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open Wednesday, amid steady oil prices, as some disappointing earnings from Disney and Macy's weighed. Brent and WTI crude futures were slightly higher, ahead of the weekly EIA inventory report due later in the morning. Oil struggled for gains overnight as record oil inventories and reports of a gradual ramp-up in Canadian oil sand production put pressure on markets. This follows production halts in Canada due to wildfires. International Brent crude oil futures were trading at $45.92 per barrel at 8:14 a.m. ET (1214 GMT), up 40 cents from their last settlement, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI)crude futures were up 13 cents at $44.79 a barrel. Macy's and Wendy's posted quarterly results Wednesday morning. Macy's lowered its full-year forecast, with CEO Terry J. Lundgren noting "continued weakness" in consumer spending in the press release. Quarterly earnings topped expectations, while revenue came in below estimates. Economic data to watch for include April's Treasury budget and the weekly MBA Mortgage Index and crude inventories. The U.S. dollar index against a basket of currencies traded above 94, up from the low of 92 touched last week. Goldman Sachs said on Wednesday that it expected the dollar to rise 15 percent over the next two years as U.S. monetary policy normalizes. The U.S. Treasury will auction $23 billion in 10-year notes on Wednesday. U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday and the Dow Jones industrial average closed more than 1 percent higher, in its best day since March 11. Disney shares fell up to 6 percent in after-hours trading on Tuesday after it posted quarterly earnings per share and revenue that missed analysts' estimates. It also posted a $147 million charge from cancelling its Infinity video game line. Plus, a U.S. judge halted Staples' $6 billion merger with Office Depot, granting a preliminary injunction for antitrust reasons. Office Depot said the companies would not appeal the ruling. Asia markets wavered between gains and losses on Wednesday, as the yen nudged higher against the dollar and oil prices retreated. The Nikkei 225 trimmed initial gains of over 1.3 percent to close near flat at 16,579.01, with many Japanese shares coming under pressure from fresh strength in the yen against the dollar. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi retraced some of its losses of over 0.5 percent to close down 2.40 points, or 0.12 percent, at 1,980.10. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index closed down 187.39 points, or 0.93 percent, at 20,055.29. Mainland Chinese markets closed mixed, with the Shanghai composite up 5.04 points, or 0.18 percent, at 2,837.63, while the Shenzhen composite finished down 11.21 points, or 0.62 percent, at 1,791.05. Gold rebounded from two-week lows on Wednesday as the dollar's rally paused and European shares fell, rekindling investor appetite for the precious metal. Spot gold was up 0.8 percent at $1,276.57 an ounce, while U.S. gold for June delivery gained 1.1 percent to $1,278.60 an ounce. The metal touched a low of $1,257.25 on Tuesday, its weakest since April 28.