Futures Slump; Corporate News in Focus

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U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a lower open for Wall Street as traders gave earnings from two of the biggest American financial firms mixed reviews and continued watching Boeing shares.

Today's Markets

As of 8:35 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 54 points to 13409, S&P 500 futures dipped 3.5 points to 1462 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.5 points to 2716.

Corporate news is one again taking the spotlight as earnings season revs up.

J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) posted a fourth-quarter profit of $1.35 a share, excluding certain items, topping Wall Street’s expectations of $1.16. Revenues of $24.4 billion came in line with forecasts. Despite the beat, shares of the Dow component actually fell as analysts parsed through the details of the earnings, particularly the reviews of the "London Whale" loss.

Fellow blue chip Boeing (NYSE:BA) will also be in focus as problems mounted for its 787 "Dreamliner" aircraft. In the most recent setback, a 787 was forced to make an emergency landing in Japan early Wednesday Tokyo time.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) earned $5.60 a share in the fourth quarter, compared to $1.84 in the same quarter in 2011, and considerably more than the $3.78 analysts forecast. The investment bank’s revenues of $9.24 billion easily topped expectations of $7.83 billion. Shares jumped on the report.

Traders will also get a handful of economic reports on the day.

Consumer prices remained unchanged in December from November, as analysts expected. Excluding the food and energy components, prices were up 0.1%, slightly less than the 0.2% expected. A separate report may show U.S. factory activity having edged up by 0.3% last month.

The Federal Reserve also releases its Beige Book in the afternoon. The release provides an anecdotal look at the U.S. economy from each of the central bank's districts.

Commodities were little changed. The benchmark crude contract rose six cents, or 0.06%, to $93.35 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.33% to $2.698 a gallon. In metals, gold dropped $10.10, or 0.6%, to $1,674.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.56% to 2688, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.62% to 6081 and the German DAX slipped 0.34% to 7650.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 sold off by 2.6% to 10600 and the Chinese Hang Seng edged lower by 0.1% to 23357.