Dow Lower Ahead of Bank Earnings


LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EST indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average may open down by 0.25% this morning, while the S&P 500 may open 0.17% lower, after the World Bank cut its global growth forecast for 2013 to 2.4%, down from 3% in its June forecast. The revision includes a 0.5% cut for the World Bank's U.S. forecast.

Today's economic reports start at 8:30 a.m. EST with December's consumer price index, which is expected to show that prices remained unchanged in the final month of the year after falling by 0.3% in November. At 9:15 a.m. EST, December's industrial-production figures are expected to show 0.2% growth following a 1.1% rise in November. And at 10 a.m. EST, December's homebuilders' index is expected to have risen to 48 from 47 the previous month.

However, today's big news will be the latest corporate earnings reports. Goldman Sachs is expected to publish its fourth-quarter earnings at 7:30 a.m. EST, with consensus forecasts suggest earnings of $3.71 per share for the Wall Street giant. JPMorgan Chase is also due to report its fourth-quarter earnings, with analysts expecting earnings of $1.16 per share. US Bancorp and Charles Schwab are also expected to report before the bell, as are Bank of New York Mellon Corp and Comerica. eBay is due to report quarterly earnings after the market closes tonight.

Other stocks that could be actively traded include Boeing after the two largest users of Boeing 787 aircraft, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, both grounded their 787 fleets last night in response to another in-flight fault. Pilots on an internal flight in Japan were forced to make an emergency landing after spotting smoke following a battery fault alert. Boeing stock was down 4.2% in premarket trading.

European markets
European markets slipped lower this morning as investors digested the World Bank's latest growth forecasts. The German government's latest forecast also made grim reading; the country's Economy Ministry cut its GDP growth forecast for 2013 from 1% to 0.4%.

At 7 a.m. EST, the DAX was down 0.34%, the CAC 40 was down 0.34%, the FTSE MIB was down 1.48%, and the IBEX 35 was down 0.65%. In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.64%, with Lloyds Banking Group the biggest loser of the day so far, down 4% on heavy volume.

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