Monday October 17th


Bumper earnings, oil, Fed expected to cause a stir on Wall Street

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Monday, as investors geared up for a slew of corporate earnings, while continuing to digest the latest remarks from Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen. Amid discussion around the upcoming U.S. election and fluctuation in the oil price, the Fed has been placed back on the table in recent trading sessions, as investors debate whether the central bank will raise interest rates this year or next. Last week, Yellen said the economy had seen an unusual tendency of weak demand against strong supply, making it reasonable "to ask whether it might be possible to reverse these adverse supply-side effects by temporarily running a 'high-pressure economy', with robust aggregate demand and a tight labor market." Going forward, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer is expected to deliver remarks at the Economic Club of New York on Monday. Big corporate names are expected to shake up sentiment on Wall Street, as they release their latest financial results with IBM and Netflix all set to report Monday. Bank of America posted better-than-expected earnings and revenues, sending its stock higher by nearly 2 percent before the bell. Hasbro also reported better-than-expected results. United Continental and Wintrust Financial are all expected to release earnings too. On the data front, investors will be looking out for the Empire State survey, due out at 8.30 a.m. ET, and industrial production figures, expected at 9.15 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, the moves in oil are expected to keep investors on edge this week. Around 8 a.m. ET, U.S. WTI stood around $50.54 per barrel, while Brent hovered around $52.25 a barrel. European stocks traded mostly lower in the morning session, while Asia-Pacific indexes mostly fell into negative territory overnight. In South Korea, the Kospi closed up 4.95 points, or 0.24 percent, at 2,027.61. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.93 percent as of 3:23 p.m. HK/SIN. Chinese mainland indexes also finished lower, with the Shanghai composite closing down 22.56 points, or 0.74 percent, at 3,041.24, while the Shenzhen composite fell 19.18 points, or 0.93 percent, to 2,027.55. Japanese markets finished mostly higher, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 climbing 43.75 points, or 0.26 percent, to 16,900.12, as shares likely received a boost from a relatively weaker yen. The Japanese yen traded at 104.04 against the dollar as of 3:25 p.m. HK/SIN, compared with levels below 103.80 in the previous week. In the previous session, U.S. markets closed mostly higher. Gold prices rose slightly on Monday as the U.S. dollar pared gains and bargain hunters used dips to accumulate the precious metal. Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,255 an ounce. The yellow metal fell nearly 0.6 percent on Friday to a low of $1,247.01, its lowest since Oct. 7.