Wednesday April 20th


Futures steady amid earnings, oil slide

U.S. stock index futures indicated a flat to slightly higher open Wednesday as investors eyed more earnings. Oil traded lower, but U.S. crude oil futures for May delivery held above $40 a barrel in early morning trade ET. The contract rolls to June after the settle. Earlier declines in oil prices weakened sentiment across the globe. European stocks were narrowly mixed while Asian stocks ended mostly lower. The Shanghai composite fell 2.3 percent, amid reports that China's central bank may not ease as aggressively this year. Japanese stocks extended gains from the previous session on the back of a relatively weaker yen, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 advancing 32.10 points, or 0.19 percent, to 16,906.54, having been up more than 1 percent earlier. In U.S. political news, Donald Trump will notch a "significant" victory in the New York GOP primary, according to NBC News which cited projected results from Tuesday's polls. On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was projected to win her party's primary, according to the news agency. Meanwhile, inventors will head into the session with a slew of earnings before the opening bell. Coca-Cola, U.S. Bancorp, Abbott Labs and St. Jude Medical reported then. American Express, Qualcomm, Mattel, F5 Networks, Stryker, SLM and Yum Brands will release updates after the session.U.S. stocks closed mixed Tuesday, amid a rise in oil prices, as declines in tech and consumer discretionary stocks weighed after mixed earnings reports. Goldman Sachs was the main focus with shares closing up 2.28 percent with the firm reporting first-quarter earnings that topped lowered Wall Street expectations. Back in the U.S., existing home sales data will be released at 10 a.m. ET. Oil prices fell on Wednesday as investor focus returned to worries about oversupply after Kuwaiti workers ended a three-day strike that had halved the nation's crude output. Industry data showed U.S. crude stockpiles rose last week, reinforcing concerns about the global surplus. Brent futures were down 60 cents at $43.43 a barrel at 7:28 a.m. ET (1138 GMT). U.S. crude was down 74 cents, or 1.8 percent, at $40.34, after dipping below $40 a barrel. Gold prices eased on Wednesday as a firmer dollar halted the previous day's rally, while silver held near an earlier 11-month peak, boosted by technical momentum and perceptions it is undervalued versus gold. The price of silver has climbed nearly 10 percent so far this month, helped by a break through chart resistance at its late October high on Tuesday, and is on track for its biggest monthly rise since January last year. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,247.36 an ounce, off a one-week high of $1,258.00 touched overnight. U.S. gold futures for June delivery were down $4.40 an ounce at $1,249.90.