U.S. stock futures struggle as earnings roll out from JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Middle East tensions rise

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U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mostly weaker open Friday, as investors absorbed earnings reports from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other big Wall Street banks, while oil prices surged as investors monitored escalating tensions in the Middle East.

How are stock-index futures trading?

  • S&P 500 futures
    ES00,

    slipped 2 points to 4,378

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
    YM00,
    +0.14%
    rose 41 points, or 0.1%, to 33,836

  • Nasdaq-100 futures
    NQ00,
    -0.25%
    fell 0.2%, or 39.25 points, to 15,277

On Thursday, the S&P 500
SPX
slipped 0.6% to finish at 4,349.61, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA
dropped 173.73 points, or 0.5% to 33,631.14. The Nasdaq Composite
COMP
fell 0.6% to 13,574.22. The losses broke a four-day winning streak for those indexes.

What’s driving markets?

Earnings reports were front and center for investors with JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPM,
-0.23%
up 0.6% in premarket trading after reporting stronger-than-expected third-quarter profit thanks to higher net interest income and lower credit costs. Shares of Wells Fargo & Co.
WFC,
+0.13%
rose 2% after its third-quarter earnings also beat forecasts by a comfortable margin.

JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said the bank delivered “solid” results amid a tough macroeconomic backdrop now complicated by another war. “This may be the most dangerous time the world has seen in decades,” he said. 

Results from BlackRock Inc.
BLK,
-1.01%
and Citigroup Inc.
C,

are still ahead.

Read: Q3 earnings are here: S&P 500 heads toward year of profit declines as JPMorgan, and Delta report this week

Investors are facing the fourth-straight quarter of earnings declines overall for the S&P 500, with third-quarter per-share profit collectively set to fall 0.3%, according to FactSet.

Thursday saw stocks decline following data that showed elevated consumer prices. U.S. data due Friday includes September import prices at 8:30 a.m. Eastern and a preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for October at 9 a.m. Eastern. Philadelphia President Patrick Harker is due to speak at 9 a.m. Eastern.

U.S. September inflation data pressured bond yields higher on Thursday, though that move was partially reversing on Friday as Israel’s military ordered more than 1 million people to leave Gaza, raising fears a ground offensive could be under way soon.

The United Nations has warned that such an evacuation was not just impossible, but disastrous. The development comes nearly a week after an attack on Israel that has left more 2,800 people dead on both sides of the conflict.

The yield for the 10-year Treasury note
BX:TMUBMUSD10Y
was down 6 basis points at 4.643%, and that of the 2-year
BX:TMUBMUSD02Y
was down 3 basis points to 5.037%. Yields move inversely to price.

A shift into bonds signaled some investors are seeking safe-haven assets, with gold prices
GC00,
+1.83%
climbing $13.30 to $1,896 an ounce, a gain of around 2.7% so far this week.

Crude oil prices
CL.1,
+4.45%
surged nearly 4% to $86.06 a barrel amid those increasing tensions in the Middle East.

Companies in focus

  • JPMorgan Chase
    JPM,
    -0.23%
    stock rose in premarket trading after the bank on Friday reported a stronger-than-expected third-quarter profit as the bank benefitted from a boost in net interest income and below-normal credit costs.

  • Wells Fargo & Co.
    WFC,
    +0.13%
    stock rose 1.6% in premarket trading after the Wall Street bank reported forecast-beating third-quarter earnings.

  • UnitedHealth Group Inc.
    UNH,
    +0.27%
    increased by 1% after the healthcare-services and insurance giant reported better-than-forecast results and lifted full-year guidance.

  • Dollar General Corp. shares
    DG,
    -1.77%
    rallied 7% after the dollar-store chain said that Todd Vasos was returning as chief executive after retiring less than a year ago.

  • Microsoft
    MSFT,
    -0.38%
    was steady after U.K. regulators on Friday gave Microsoft Corp. the go-ahead for the tech giant’s $68.7 billion acquisition of videogame holding company, Activision Blizzard, ending a long saga.

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