Published January 18, 2013
FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
With stock futures in search of direction, the blue-chip average was poised to open within easy striking distance of its highest levels in five years.
As of 8:05 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 1 point, or 0.01%, to 13541, S&P 500 futures dipped 0.25 point to 1476 and Nasdaq 100 futures slumped 7.8 points to 2733.
The markets posted solid gains on Thursday, driven by a round of better-than-expected data on the U.S. labor and housing markets. If the upbeat sentiment continues, the Dow could close the week out at levels not seen since before the financial crisis in 2007.
Market participants were paying close attention to corporate news as earnings season picks up steam. After the bell on Thursday, Intel (INTC) and American Express (AXP) weighed in. The chipmaker posted a beat on the bottom line, but slightly trailed estimates on the top line. Meanwhile, AmEx posted results that were inline with estimates.
The economic calendar is fairly light on the day. A report from Reuters and the University of Michigan is forecast to show consumer sentiment having jumped in early January from December. One item traders will be paying attention to is how the increased payroll tax starting at the beginning of the year, as well as increased taxes on America's highest earners, could be affecting sentiment. Generally, retail-based stocks are swayed by these data.
The energy complex has been in focus as well, getting a boost on Thursday from worries about the security of supplies from North Africa sparked by the hostage situation in Algeria. Futures cooled off mildly on Friday. The benchmark crude contract dipped 15 cents, or 0.16%, to $95.34 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline fell 0.42% to $2.757 a gallon.
In metals, gold slipped 60 cents, or 0.03%, to $1,690 a troy ounce.
The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.11% to 2716, the English FTSE 100 rose 0.45% to 6160 and the German DAX slipped 0.14% to 7724.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 soared 2.9% to 10913 and the Chinese Hang Seng rallied 1.1% to 23602.