Futures flat after Bank of America results

By @ibtimes on

Stock index futures were little changed on Friday after Bank of America Corp said mortgage-related costs added to a drop in profit, giving investors more reason to be cautious about earnings.

BofA reported a decline of almost 40 percent in its profit. The stock, a Dow component, was flat in premarket trading after earlier falling as much as 1.7 percent.

The results followed earnings from JPMorgan Chase & Co on Wednesday when it reported fewer outstanding loans, raising questions about the banks' ability to boost profit in coming years.

The first week of earnings has been mixed, with bellwether companies unable to excite the market despite some cases of stronger-than-expected profits. Investors have been disappointed with companies' revenues or outlooks.

Late on Thursday, Google Inc unsettled investors by reporting a large jump in first-quarter spending, which the company's finance chief said was a sign of optimism. The Internet company also reported an adjusted profit that was slightly under expectations, and the stock fell 5.3 percent to $548 in premarket trading.

Mattel Inc reported first-quarter earnings on Friday that fell due to higher costs, though they met expectations.

S&P 500 futures fell 1.5 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 15 points and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 1 point.

March consumer price data will be released at 8:30 a.m. <1230 GMT> and will be examined for the impact of energy and food prices.

Although core inflation figures are expected to show the same gain as in February of 0.2 percent, any move higher could put pressure on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.

In China, inflation jumped to a 32-month high, reinforcing the view that the government will have to do more to rein in prices.

The New York Fed's Empire State manufacturing index for April and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report will also be released, with manufacturing seen weakening and confidence expected to edge slightly higher from the previous month.

On Thursday, stocks that outperform in a weak economy, such as consumer staples, helped the Dow and S&P 500 eke out gains as concerns about faltering growth and inflation prompted investors to seek out more conservative share.

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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