US Stock Futures Point To Lower Open Ahead Of Retail Sales Data, Corporate Earnings Reports

 
on April 12 2013 6:19 AM

U.S. stock index futures point to a lower open on Friday ahead of the release of retail sales data for March and corporate earnings reports. Markets were treading cautiously on the last working day of the week. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 surged to new closing highs on April 11, based on positive data from the labor market.

Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.14 percent to 1,585.50, while futures on the Nasdaq 100 Index gained 0.17 percent to 2,848.50. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.17 percent to 14,771.

Investors on Friday will likely focus on the U.S. Commerce Department's core retail sales data report, which is used to measure the change in the total value of sales at the retail level in the U.S., excluding automobiles, and is considered an important indicator of consumer spending. The report, which measures the change in the total value of inflation-adjusted sales at the retail level, will be released at 8.30 a.m. EDT. Analysts expect both core retail sales and retail sales to decline to 0.1 percent in March from the 1 percent and 1.1 percent gains registered in the previous month, respectively.

Investors are also expected to focus on U.S. corporate earnings reports, which will be announced on Friday.   

Several leading financial institutions including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC), Carolina Trust Bank (NASDAQ:CART), Central Federal Corp. (NASDAQ:CFBK), Colonial Financial Services Inc. (NASDAQ:COBK), Telestone Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ:TSTC) and Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) will report their quarterly earnings on April. 12.

U.S. stocks continued their winning streak on Thursday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 stock indices witnessed another record closing-high on Thursday. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 62.9 points, or 0.4 percent, topping the previous day's record high of 14,865.14, while the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index rose 5.64 points, or 0.36 percent, to 1593.37, a new record as it is just 0.4 percent from the milestone of 1600 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 2.91 points or 0.09 percent to 3300.16.

European shares edged lower in the opening minutes of trading after four straight days of gains, ahead of a two-day meeting of Europe's finance ministers in Ireland and the release of the euro zone's industrial output figures.

The UK's FTSE100 fell 0.4 percent, while France's CAC-40 and Germany's DAX Index were down 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. 

Many investors were concerned about the February industrial production numbers from Europe. Analysts expect the industrial output to rebound 0.1 percent in February after a 0.4 percent contraction last month.

Earlier, most Asian markets traded down as the yen strengthened against the dollar.

The Nikkei closed down 0.47 percent at 13,485.14, while South Korea's KOSPI edged toward 1,924.23, down 1.31 percent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.06 percent to 22,089.05, while China's Shanghai Composite index declined 0.58 percent to 2,206.78.

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