U.S. Stock Futures Gain

U.S. stock futures pointed towards mildly higher start on Wall Street on Monday, a day which is devoid of any major economic data release even as the fourth-quarter earnings season winds up this week.

At last check, futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average Index edged up 0.27%; the NASDAQ 100 Index gained 0/27% while those on S&P 500 Index added 0.19%.

53 S&P 500 Companies are slated to report quarterly results this week, which is effectively the last week of U.S. fourth quarter earnings season. So far, of the 60% S&P 500 companies that have announced results, 70% have surpassed Street’s expectation on earnings front while 66% have exceeded analysts’ forecast on revenue front, according to Thomson Reuters. In case, rest of the companies posts results in line with Street’s consensus estimate then average earnings will be up 5.2% in the fourth quarter YOY.

Political brinkmanship in Washington over budget talks is keeping investors jittery. Although John McCann (R-AZ) urged President Obama on Sunday to avert sequester, both sides are still sticking firmly to the ground, maintaining their stance.

On Earnings front, CNO Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CNO) and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: BWP) are slated to report quarterly results.

In Asia, trading was thin as major markets were closed on account of Chinese Lunar Year Holidays. While stock exchanges in China, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong were closed as the Year of snake started from Sunday, Japan’s Nikkei was shut for its National Founding Day.

Elsewhere in Europe, equities were mainly lower with Pan European Stoxx 600 down 0.33%, the FTSE 100 0.28% while DAX was almost flat, at last check.

In some other market crude oil futures slipped 0.21% to $95.52 a barrel while gold futures for April delivery edged down 0.58% to $1657.20 an ounce.



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.