Current Futures: Dow -32.00, S&P -4.00, NASDAQ -9.75

European equity markets are trading higher, while U.S. futures moved somewhat lower ahead of earnings reports from Citigroup and General Electric. Asian markets closed in the green, helped by optimism that the U.S. economy is recovering.

Citigroup and General Electric are expected to report their quarterly results before the opening bell this morning. If Citigroup beats the analysts’ forecasts, the financials might see a very strong rally later in the day. Analysts are currently estimating that Citigroup will report a $0.34 loss per share, while the conglomerate, General Electric, is projected to report a $0.21 profit per share. 

“Even though banks have beat every possible estimate, until now, it is expected that the profits of the S&P 500 companies will drop for a seventh straight quarter in Q1, the longest period of declines since the Great Depression,” TheLFB-Forex.Com Trade Team said.

“The German Dax traded on light volume on Friday morning,” TheLFB-Forex.com Trade Team members said. “However, the U.K. Ftse traded on a more normal volume, with the banking sector being its top gainer. Barclays, RBS and Lloyds each rose more than 4%, as it seems the banking sector is recovering at a sustainable pace,” they added. “The British retailer Tesco was also among the gainers, after Bank of America upgraded the company to a buy from neutral.” 

Overnight, the Nikkei rose 152.32 points (1.74%) to 8,907.58. The Australian S&P/Asx gained 1.00 points (0.03%) to 3,776.70. The U.K. Ftse added 19.00 points (0.47%) to 4,071.98, while the German Dax rose 12.25 points (0.27%) to 4,621.71

Crude oil for May delivery was recently trading at $49.80 per barrel, down by $0.20.

Gold for May delivery was recently trading down by $3.70 to $876.10.