US pre-open: Futures mixed as banks remain in focus
Wall Street futures were pointing to a mixed session prior to the start of trading on Friday as the financial sector continued to weigh on markets.
As of 1225 GMT, Dow Jones and S&P 500 futures had the indices opening 0.39% and 0.24% lower, respectively, while Nasdaq-100 futures were up 0.13%.
The Dow closed 371.98 points higher on Thursday after a number of big banks vowed to help embattled lender First Republic with $30.0bn in deposits as a show of faith in the banking system.
Credit Suisse was again in focus before the opening bell after the Swiss lender revealed it will borrow as much as CHF 50.0bn (£44.42bn) from the Swiss National Bank, leading market participants to mull over the plan for emergency liquidity.
Scope Markets' James Hughes said: "Sentiment right now does seem to be souring. That's arguably no surprise following another US regional bank rescue last night and the fact that today also see triple witching hour when there's a whole slew of US options set to expire just ahead of the closing bell.
"There's also the prospect of another FOMC policy meeting next week which almost inevitably seems set to see a further quarter point added to the target rate, so it does seem that questions perhaps need to be asked once again in regard to any signs of wanton enthusiasm from traders which risks looking more akin to a bevvy Cheltenham racegoers eager to slake their collective St Patrick's Day thirst with excess volumes of Guinness, rather than applying fair values to the market."
On the macro front, industrial production figures were slated for release at 1315 GMT, while a preliminary reading of the University of Michigan's March consumer sentiment index and the Conference Board's February leading index will follow at 1400 GMT.
In the corporate space, FedEx shares traded higher ahead of the bell after the courier company posted third-quarter earnings that came in ahead of analysts' expectations and raised its full-year guidance.
Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com