Stock futures are flat as investors await more earnings results

Finance

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

U.S. stock futures were little changed Wednesday night after the S&P 500 snapped a three-day losing streak as companies kicked off the quarterly earnings season.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.01%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures inched up 0.02% and 0.07%, respectively.

The major averages were little changed by the end of the regular session. The Dow was flat at 34,377.81, the S&P 500 gained 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite ticked up 0.7%.

Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s September meeting, released Wednesday afternoon, showed that the central bank could begin the tapering process in mid-November or mid-December.

“We still think November but one month isn’t going to matter to markets at this point,” said Lawrence Gillum, fixed income strategist for LPL Financial. “There was some interesting discussion on lift-off though and it looks like the Committee remains divided. The future make-up of the Committee only adds uncertainty to when lift-off will actually take place.”

Earlier in the day, JPMorgan kicked off big bank earnings with stellar results that exceeded expectations on a $1.5 billion boost from better-than-expected loan losses. Still, shares fell by 2.6% and other bank stocks slid too.

Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo are all scheduled to report earnings before the bell Thursday. Dow member UnitedHealth Group is also on deck, as well as Domino’s Pizza.

Earlier Wednesday, the Labor Department reported the core Consumer Price Index, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.2% month over month in September and 4% over the last 12 months, compared to estimates of 0.3% and 4%, respectively.

September producer price index data and weekly jobless claims will be released Thursday.

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