Stock Futures Lower as Earnings Season Picks Up Steam

New York (Apr 14)  Stock futures were lower, though only by a hair, with investors focusing on individual movers as the first-quarter earnings season picked up steam.

S&P 500 futures fell 0.06%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dropped 0.03%, and Nasdaq futures slid 0.1%.

The Dow enjoyed its best one-day performance in nearly a month, while the S&P 500 closed at its highest since December after bank shares rallied on Wednesday. JPMorgan (JPM - Get Report) led financials stocks higher after beating analysts' estimates in its first quarter.

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Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) fell 1% in premarket trading as trading revenue took a hit and lower interest rates continued to pressure profits. The bank earned 21 cents a share, lower than 25 cents a year earlier but a penny higher than analysts' estimates. Trading revenue, which accounts for roughly one-fifth of total sales, fell 15.5% to $3.29 billion as markets suffered a rough start to the year. JPMorgan, which reported a day earlier, showed similar weakness in trading revenue.

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Delta Air Lines (DAL - Get Report) added more than 1% after topping profit estimates in its first quarter. The airline reported adjusted earnings of $1.32 a share, 2 cents above estimates, though revenue slipped 1.5% and fell short of forecasts. The company saw a rise in domestic passenger revenue which helped offset a drop in international revenue.  

BlackRock (BLK - Get Report) shares were on watch after the money manager reported a drop in quarterly profit, dragged down by foreign exchange weakness and a volatile start to the year for markets. Assets under management fell to $4.74 trillion, down 1% from a year earlier. BlackRock also confirmed restructuring plans, though didn't confirm reports it would cut around 400 jobs, the highest number of planned layoffs in its history.

The Bank of England unanimously voted on Thursday to keep its key interest rate at a record low of 0.5%. The central bank also kept its 375 billion pound asset purchase program unchanged. The moves were largely anticipated as the U.K. looks toward a June referendum to decide on whether to stay in the European Union. 

Crude oil prices appeared to stabilize on Thursday after settling lower for the first time in four sessions a day earlier. Commodity traders have focused on a weekend meeting between Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Doha, Qatar, that could result in a production freeze agreement. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 0.12% to $41.75 a barrel.

Source: TheStreet