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Futures flat as first-quarter earnings season approaches

Posted by: Admin | Posted on: April 10th, 2017 | 0 Comments


U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Monday as investors awaited earnings from big banks later in the week, kicking off the first-quarter earnings season.

* JPMorgan (JPM.N), Citigroup (C.N) and Wells Fargo (WFC.N) are scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Thursday and could give a glimpse into the U.S. banking industry after a strong finish in the fourth quarter.

* Investors are keenly watching the quarterly results to justify lofty market valuations following a post-election rally, sparked off by bets that President Donald Trump would introduce pro-growth policies.

* Earnings of SP 500 companies are estimated to have risen 10.1 percent in the first three months of the year, the most since the fourth-quarter of 2014. The index is currently trading at 17.4 times forward earnings estimates, above its long-term average of 15, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak in Michigan after markets close. Investors will be looking to clues on the central bank’s plans to trim its $4.5 trillion balance sheet after recent comments from Fed officials.

* Wall Street closed slightly lower on Friday after a disappointing jobs report hit already weakened sentiment following a U.S. missile strike on Syria.

* Early premarket movers included generic drugmaker Akorn (AKRX.O), up 12 percent at $33.30 after confirming that it was in talks to be bought by German healthcare group Fresenius.

* Swift Transportation (SWFT.N) rose 11 percent to $22.20 after announcing a merger with Knight Transportation (KNX.N).

Futures snapshot at 7:04 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 1 point, or 0 percent, with 16,961 contracts changing hands.

* SP 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 0.75 points, or 0.03 percent, with 107,808 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 0.5 points, or 0.01 percent, on volume of 17,005 contracts.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/bDTqlKHG46c/us-usa-stocks-idUSKBN17C18C

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