Stocks – U.S. Futures Cautious with Focus on Bank Earnings, Consumer Sentiment

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© Reuters. U.S. future point to flat open, JP Morgan beats, Wells Fargo and Citi on tap© Reuters. U.S. future point to flat open, JP Morgan beats, Wells Fargo and Citi on tap

Investing.com – U.S. futures pointed to a flat open on Friday, as investors digested from JP Morgan and waited for further reports from Wells Fargo and Citigroup , while also looking ahead to a reading on U.S. consumer sentiment.

The blue-chip inched up 13 points, or 0.05%, by 7:09 AM ET (11:09 GMT), the edged forward 1 point, or 0.04%, while the tech-heavy traded up 9 points, or 0.12%.

JP Morgan (NYSE:) reported a 6% increase in to $28.39 billion, beating expectations for $27.55 billion. The bank also registered earnings per share of $2.29, above consensus for $2.22. Shares were up 0.64% at $107.54 in pre-market trade at 7:10 AM ET (11:10 GMT) Friday

After JP Morgan’s positive earnings, Citigroup (NYSE:) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:) will follow up with their own reports at approximately 8:00 AM (12:00 GMT).

Q2 earnings growth is tipped to be 20.7% according to Thomson Reuters data, moderating slightly from a gain of 26.6% the first-quarter, which was the highest in seven years when results were boosted by tax-cut tailwinds.

However, the season is being clouded by trade tensions and their impact on corporate profits, with analysts likely to scrutinize outlook statements to see whether to adjust numbers for the rest of 2018.

Trade tensions remained in focus although U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that he and the administration are , but China must first agree to deeper economic reforms.

China’s vice foreign minister Zhang Jun said on Friday that the U.S.’s accusations against China on trade were groundless and that Washington’s actions are not supported by the international community.

Also in trade news, U.S. President Donald Trump suggested that UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to exit the European Union would .

“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal,” Trump said on Friday in an interview with Sun.

On the economic front, traders will focus on University of Michigan’s preliminary measure of July at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT).

and prices for June are also scheduled for released at 8:30 AM ET (14:30 GMT).

Later in the session, market participants will look for clues on the future path of interest rates as Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic participates in a town hall chat in which he will take questions from the audience.

Meanwhile, , extending the weekly decline to more than 4% as investors focused this week on the return of Libyan oil to the market amid concerns about a China-U.S. trade war.

Investors looked ahead to Baker Hughes’ weekly data on U.S. production due out later on Friday. The number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by five to last week.

Although that was the first increase in three weeks, the U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is much higher than a year ago when 763 rigs were active as energy companies have been ramping up production in tandem with OPEC’s past efforts to cut global output over the past year-and-a-half.

Elsewhere, nearing midday trade on Friday, and looked set for a second week of gains as fears of a full-blown trade war were kept in check and optimism about the next corporate earnings season grew.

Earlier, on Friday, although China’s remained under pressure as the , underlining concerns about how U.S. President Donald Trump will react to the data.

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