FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
U.S. stock-index futures were little changed Friday on the back of the Dow's longest winning streak since 1996 as traders awaited a round of U.S. economic data and digested the Fed's review of banks' capital plans.
As of 8:40 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were flat at 14452, S&P 500 futures were unchanged at 1556 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 3 points to 2803.
The blue-chip averaged climbed for its tenth session in a row Thursday, hitting a record closing high for the eighth-straight session. The broader S&P 500 is within two points, or about a tenth of a percent, away from its all-time peak as well.
After the closing bell Thursday, the Federal Reserve released its review of the capital plans submitted by the nation's largest banks. Most received a green light, with J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) receiving a conditional non-objection, and BB&T (BBT) and Ally Financial getting rejections.
The release prompted a slew of news on dividends and share buybacks. Indeed, all four of America's biggest banks by assets, J.P. Morgan, Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC), revealed share repurchase plans or said they would unveil details on buybacks later.
There was a slew of economic data on tap for Friday as well.
The Labor Department said consumer prices climbed 0.7% in February from January as gasoline prices surged 9.1% in their biggest jump since June 2009. Excluding the more volatile food and energy components, so-called core prices increased 0.2%. Economists expected the headline number to increase 0.5% and the core to rise 0.2%.
A report from the New York Federal Reserve showed the pace of the expansion in the regional manufacturing sector cooling slightly in March. The Empire State gauge fell to 9.24 from 10.04, compared to expectations of a shallower fall to 10.
Another set of data from the Federal Reserve is expected to show the broader U.S. factor sector having revved up by 0.4% in February from January.
Meanwhile, the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment measure could come in at 78 for early March, just a shade higher than the 77.6 logged at the end of last month.
In commodities, oil prices rose 49 cents, or 0.53%, to $93.52 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline jumped 0.85% to $3.168 a gallon. Gold climbed $2.30, or 0.15%, to $1,593 a troy ounce.
On the European front, the European Council, which represents European Union heads of state, was meeting for the second day. Headlines from the meeting often impact European markets and the euro.
The Euro Stoxx 50 slumped 0.63% to 2727, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.58% to 6492 and the German DAX fell 0.18% to 6491.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rallied 1.5% to 2727 and the Chinese Hang Seng edged lower by 0.38% to 22533.