US pre-open: Stocks seen touch lower as earnings roll in
US stock futures pointed to a slightly weaker open on Wall Street on Thursday as more earnings releases rolled in ahead of the Easter break.
At 1220 BST, Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were all down 0.1%.
London Capital Group analyst Jasper Lawler said: "Moving into this earnings season, markets were expecting a tough quarter. So far, we are just not seeing the significantly lower figures that the markets have been expecting.
"That’s not to say there haven’t been some losers, such as IBM down 5.5% after revenue fell for a third straight quarter and Netflix which closed 1.6% lower after subscriber guidance numbers fell."
In corporate news, Honeywell was 1.2% higher in pre-market trade as its first-quarter earnings and sales late on Wednesday beat estimates and it lifted its outlook for the full year.
Elsewhere, shares in Philip Morris, Travelers and Schlumberger were also likely to be active following the release of their quarterly numbers.
Still to come, American Express was also slated to report." The firm confirmed that annual profit more than doubled in January, and it issued an optimistic outlook for 2019 as it felt that consumer spending was ‘reasonably strong'," noted CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
On the data front, retail sales, initial jobless claims and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index are at 1330 BST. TD Securities said strong March auto sales, accelerating gasoline prices and a firm rebound in the core control group should underpin a solid 1.3% month-on-month jump in retail sales, following a 0.2% decline in February.
Markit's services and manufacturing PMIs are at 1445 BST, while business inventories are at 1500 BST.
Market participants will also be watching out for a news conference held by US Attorney General William Barr on the release of Special Council Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.