Friday April 20th


Stocks set to open lower as earnings season rolls on

U.S. stock index futures pointed to slight losses ahead of Friday's open after the release of more quarterly numbers from major companies. Around 8:30 a.m. ET, Dow Jones industrial average futures traded 42 points lower, indicating a higher open of 37.89 points. Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 futures also indicated declines start to Friday's session for their respective markets. General Electric reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, sending the stock higher by more than 5 percent. The company also reaffirmed its 2018 outlook. Honeywell also posted stronger-than-expected earnings on Friday. Its stock rose nearly 2 percent. The moves in premarket trade came after major indexes on Wall Street finished Thursday's session lower. Over recent trading days, investors have been keeping a close eye on earnings and the bond market, as rising rates concerns rumble on. Negativity on Wall Street flowed through to Asian markets on Friday, with regional stock indexes ending the day moderately lower amid declines in the technology sector. The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.13 percent, or 28.94 points, to end at 22,162.24 as semiconductor companies declined while financials and utilities mostly rose. South Korea's benchmark Kospi index edged down by 0.39 percent to 2,476.33. Greater China markets also recorded declines, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shedding 0.67 percent. Mainland markets saw steeper falls, with the Shanghai composite losing 1.47 percent to close at 3,071.47 and the Shenzhen composite lost 2 percent to end at 1,778.34. Oil prices turned lower after President Donald Trump suggested in a tweet that OPEC is keeping oil prices artificially high, adding that he would not accept that. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices were down 60 cents at $67.73 a barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude fell 63 cents to $73.15. Both benchmarks hit more than three-year highs this week, as falling U.S. crude stockpiles, geopolitical tension and concerns about supply disruptions in key oil-producing nations supported the market. Gold prices inched lower on Friday and were headed for the first weekly decline in three weeks as expectations of higher U.S. interest rates and easing political tensions on the Korean Peninsula and Syria weighed on demand for the safe-haven metal. Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,344.10 an ounce at 0650 GMT, while U.S. gold futures fell 0.2 percent to $1,346.30 per ounce. Spot gold fell 0.2 percent on the week.