Friday January 13th


US stock futures mostly flat as earnings season gets under way

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open on Friday as traders digested some big earnings reports and economic data. Bank of America and BlackRock both reported mixed quarterly results, as earnings per share topped analyst expectations but sales fell short. JPMorgan Chase, meanwhile, beat on both sales and profits, while Wells Fargo's results disappointed Wall Street. On the data front, retail sales rose 0.6 percent in December, around consensus estimates. PPI rose 0.3 percent, in line with estimates. Consumer sentiment and business inventories are also set to come out at 10:00 a.m. ET. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.54 percent higher on Friday. Chinese shares slid on Friday as investors digested China's underwhelming exports for December and disappointing full-year trade figures. The Shanghai composite wavered for most of the session, and closed down 0.22 percent or 7 points at 3,112.3 while Shenzhen composite was off 1.55 percent or 31.3 points at 1,921. In South Korea, the Kospi lost 0.5 percent or 10.35 points at 2,076.8, after the Bank of Korea left benchmark rates unchanged at 1.25 percent, which was aligned with expectations by a Reuters poll of analysts, as it awaits for more policy clarity out of the U.S. under a Trump administration. The Nikkei 225 finished in the green, up 0.8 percent or 152.6 points at 19,287.3. Oil prices are on track to end the week lower on lingering doubts over the extent of OPEC cuts, with sentiment worsened by concerns over the health of the Chinese economy after it reported the steepest falls in exports since 2009. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading 32 cents down at $55.69 a barrel at 8:24 a.m. ET (1324 GMT) on Friday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell by 38 cents to $52.63. A weaker dollar helped to push up gold on Friday, putting the metal on track for a third straight weekly increase, though gains were capped by profit-taking on long positions. Spot gold edged 0.14 percent higher at $1,197.26 an ounce by 7:25 a.m. ET (1225 GMT), up 2 percent on the week.