Here’s what’s shaking:
Stock futures were little changed Friday in light volume as many investors appeared to take a breather after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed at a five-year peak.
Dow Jones industrial futures rose 2 points to 13,408. The broader S&P futures gained 0.60 points to 1,467.70. Nasdaq futures are up a point at 2,738.
Also on Friday, Wells Fargo opened the earnings season for the financial sector, beating Wall Street profit and revenue expectations.
However, the bank’s stock slipped almost 2 percent in premarket dealings on more evidence that historically low interest rates have had some negative effect. The bank’s net interest margin – the difference between its lending rates and what it pays for deposits – fell from the same period last year.
Wells Fargo will be followed next week with quarterly earnings from Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley.
Oil prices fell back to near $93 a barrel Friday following a rise in China’s inflation that if sustained could limit measures to support growth.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for February delivery was down 75 cents to $93.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract rose 72 cents to finish at $93.82 a barrel in New York on Thursday, a gain that traders attributed to a rebound in China’s trade growth.
Data released Thursday showed China’s export growth in December more than quadrupled from the previous month’s level to 14 percent. Imports rose 6 percent, after failing to grow at all in November, in a sign of increasing domestic demand.
It was tempered, however, by data Friday that showed China’s inflation spiked to a six-month high in December. Consumer prices rose 2.5 percent over a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said, driven by a 14.8 percent jump in vegetable prices after a severe winter hurt harvests.
Reports that Saudi Arabia produced 9 million barrels of crude oil in December, 500,000 barrels less than the previous month, prevented prices from falling further. Official figures will be released next Wednesday in OPEC’s monthly oil market report.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was down $1.36 to $110.53 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
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Front page photo courtesy Getty Images
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