Monday April 15th


Dow futures point to a modest open ahead of earnings

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher Monday morning, as market participants awaited further earnings reports. At around 8 a.m. ET, Dow futures indicated a positive open of about 10 points. Futures for the S&P and Nasdaq were mixed. Corporate earnings will be the biggest focus Monday, with two of the biggest Wall Street banks reporting. Citigroup and Goldman Sachs will update investors before the bell as well as Charles Schwab and M&T Bank. Market players are also carefully watching any Fed-related developments amid predictions of a potential cut in rates. Speaking to CNBC Friday, Mohamed El-Erian, Allianz’s chief economic advisor, said the Fed has gone from “too hawkish” last year to “too dovish” at the moment. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans speaks exclusively to CNBC at 8.30 a.m. ET. On the data front, factory production in New York state picked up somewhat in April but remained “fairly subdued.” The New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index rebounded to a reading of 10.1 from a nearly two-year low of 3.7 in March. Economists had expected a reading of 10, according to a survey by Econoday. Any reading above zero indicates improving conditions. Asia Pacific markets were mixed Monday afternoon, as investor confidence tempered midway, after Friday’s stronger-than-expected China data had improved risk sentiment. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.37 percent to 22,169.11. The Topix index was up 1.4 percent at 1,627.93. South Korea’s Kospi retraced some of its morning gains to finish up 0.42 percent at 2,242.88. In China, shares reversed gains: The Shanghai composite fell 0.34 percent to 3,177.79 while the Shenzhen composite lost 0.84 percent to 1,723.9. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also gave up gains to trade near flat in late-afternoon trade. Oil prices fell on Monday as investors weighed mixed signals on global supply and signs that Russia may exit coordinated production cuts by nearly two dozen nations. Losses were limited by a tightening of global supplies, as output has fallen in Iran and Venezuela amid signs the United States will further toughen sanctions on those two OPEC producers. Brent crude oil futures were down 61 cents, or nearly 1%, at $70.94 a barrel around 8:35 a.m. ET (1235 GMT), having hit their highest since Nov. 12 on Friday at $71.87. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 61 cents, or 1%, $63.28 per barrel. WTI touched a five-month high at $64.79 last week. Gold prices inched down on Monday to a more than one-week low as progress in U.S.-China trade talks lifted risk sentiment, taking sheen off safe-haven bullion even as the U.S. dollar weakened. Spot gold edged 0.3 percent lower to $1,286.74 per ounce as of 0930 GMT, having touched $1,285.48, its lowest since April 5. U.S. gold futures fell 0.4 percent to $1,289.70 an ounce.