Thursday October 12th


Futures point to a weak open as big bank earnings roll through

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly weaker open Thursday, as investors turned their attention to new earnings reports from leading U.S. banks. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 28 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 declined 5 points and 5.75 points, respectively. Major earnings are set to dominate some discussion on Wall Street, as Citigroup and Domino's Pizza are set to post their latest financial figures. JPMorgan Chase posted better-than-expected earnings, but also reported a decline in bond trading revenue, which sent the stock lower in the premarket.  Looking to data, jobless claims and Producer Price Index (PPI) data are set to come out at 8:30 a.m. ET, which will then be followed by the Treasury budget, due out at 2 p.m. ET. On Thursday, investors are likely to be still be digesting the latest minutes published by the Federal Open Market Committee, after Wall Street finished higher Wednesday following the release. In the latest FOMC minutes, the U.S. central bank indicated that an interest rate hike later in 2017 was almost certain, even if low inflation continues to weigh on sentiment. The minutes are expected to be of key importance Thursday as leading members from the U.S. Federal Reserve are set to deliver speeches. In other news, U.S. President Donald trump is expected to sign an executive order Thursday, to promote health care choice and competition. In commodities, crude prices fell into the red in morning trade, following news that U.S. fuel inventories had risen. Meanwhile, the latest IEA report stated that in 2018 it saw "three quarters out of four will be roughly balanced — again using an assumption of unchanged OPEC production, and based on normal weather conditions." At 7:21 a.m. ET, U.S. crude traded below $50.55 per barrel, while Brent hovered around $56.27. Overseas, European stocks were mixed in early market trade, while markets in Asia closed on a mostly higher note. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.35 percent, or 73.45 points, to close at 20,954.72 after touching a fresh 21-year peak earlier in the session. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 0.37 percent by 3:15 p.m. HK/SIN. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.02 percent to finish at 3,387.6463 and the Shenzhen Composite finished lower by 0.154 percent at 2,023.3559. Gold rose to its highest level in two weeks as the dollar hovered near two-week lows ahead of U.S inflation figures on Friday which are expected to give more clues on monetary policy. In its fifth straight session of gains, spot gold was up 0.21 percent at $1,294.46 an ounce by 8:30 a.m. ET, after earlier hitting $1,297.40. U.S. gold futures climbed 0.61 percent to $1,296.70 per ounce.