Days of lackluster trading amid mixed economic data are expected to give way to some actual direction as earnings season begins in earnest this week.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.16 percent while futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.27 percent and those on the Nasdaq were down 0.28 percent.
Wells Fargo Co. (NYSE:WFC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) will kick off fourth-quarter bank earnings season on Tuesday with other big banks like Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) following later in the week. And, of the 100 companies that have provided guidance for fourth-quarter earnings, 80 were negative, 10 were positive and 10 were in line with expectations, according to S&P Capital IQ, International Business Times reported last week.
Earnings in the financial sector are expected to have grown at 22.6 percent, MarketWatch reported, citing John Butters, a senior earnings analyst at FactSet. And, without the contribution of the financial sector, S&P 500 earnings are expected to have grown at 3 percent.
“When any one sector creates the majority of growth, everything else is very vulnerable to that sector,” Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial, told MarketWatch.
The U.S. Treasury monthly budget report for December is due at 2 p.m. EST.
In Europe, stocks were trading marginally higher with the Stoxx Europe 600 index up 0.17 percent while the FTSE 100 was up 0.02 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was up 0.2 percent while France's CAC-40 was up 0.16 percent.
In Asia, markets were mostly mixed with Japan’s Nikkei rising 0.2 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ended down 0.38 percent. The Shanghai Composite index was down 0.19 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.19 percent. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.54 percent and India’s BSE Sensex spiked 1.81 percent.