U.S. stocks pointed toward a flat start on Thursday as Wall Street investors anxiously wait for quarterly earnings releases from banking giants , Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC
) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C
) along with series of economic data, which include weekly jobless claims and new house building.
At last check, futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average Index slipped 0.04%; those on NASDAQ 100 inched up 0.09% while futures on S&P 500 Index tacked higher 0.08%
After Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS
) and JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM
) reported solid growth in fiscal fourth-quarter profits and revenue, entire spotlight on Thursday will shift to quarterly results of Bank of America Blackrock Inc. (NYSE: BLK
), American Express (NYSE: AXP
) and Citigroup.
Dow component, Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC
) is scheduled to report quarterly results following the closing bell ring.
Shares of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA
) will be under pressure. Shares slumped in premarket trading as global regulators grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliners for safety check (batteries) following strings of incidents.
United Health (NYSE: UNH
) on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings that barely beat forecasts and maintained its guidance for earnings and revenue growth in 2013.
The group reported EPS of $1.20 in the fourth quarter on revenue of $28.8 billion.
Wall Street had forecasted EPS of $1.19 on revenue of $28.24 billion.
On U.S. economic data front, Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims data is scheduled to be released at 8:30 a.m. EST. Economists polled by Reuters are expecting initial claims dropping to 365,000 for the week ended Jan.12 down from 371,000 in the previous week.
Also at the same time, the Commerce Department will release its report on new house building.
In Asia, equities ended flat or lower on Thursday with Nikkei ending up 0.09%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 0.07% and Shanghai Composite plunging 1.06%.
Elsewhere in Europe, equities were mainly trading in red territory with Pan European Stoxx 600 almost flat, FTSE 100 down 0.07% and DAX falling 0.27%.