Futures Pointing Towards Flat or Lower Start

U.S. stock futures inched lower on Friday, pointing towards flat or lower start as investors eagerly wait for Wells Fargo quarterly results, ahead of the morning bell.

On Thursday the S&P 500 Index closed at its 5 year high.

About three hours before the morning bell, futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average Index slid 0.05%; those on NASDAQ 100 fell 0.15% while futures on S&P 500 Index inched lower 0.04%.

To provide much needed impetus to the Japanese economy, the newly elected Liberal Democratic Party led by Shinzo Abe, announced a biggest economic stimulating package since the financial crisis of 2008. A $117 billion, economic stimulating package is aimed at creating 600,000 jobs and pushing inflation rate above 2 percentage point. The world’s second largest economy entered recession after witnessing two straight quarters of economic contraction, due to weakness in global demand and faltering domestic consumption.

Chinese economy seems to be gradually picking up the momentum. A data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that consumer price index rose 2.5% in December YOY against 2% rise in November YOY. However, analysts fear that rising inflation could prompt the new elected leadership to halt its economic stimulating measures.

On U.S. economic data front, the trade data for November is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

On earnings front Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is expected to report earnings of 87 cents on revenue of $21.34 billion, according to analysts’ consensus estimate.

On Thursday, following the closing bell, American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) announced its plans to slash 5,400 jobs.

Asian equities ended mixed on Friday over mixed set of news. While Japan’s Nikkei Index leaped 1.40%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.39% while Shanghai’s Composite Index slumped 1.78%.

Elsewhere in Europe, markets were mixed with Pan European Stoxx 600 down 0.16% while FTSE 100 slipped 0.10%.

 

edliston

edliston

Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.