By Peter Nurse
Investing.com — U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally higher Wednesday, as investors prepare for more corporate earnings, widely watched economic data as well as comments from several Federal Reserve policymakers.
At 07:00 ET (12:00 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 25 points or 0.1%, S&P 500 Futures traded 7 points or 0.2%, higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 23 points or 0.2%.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped almost 400 points or 1.1% on Tuesday, weighed by disappointing earnings from Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), after the influential investment bank reported rising costs, weakness in its consumer banking business and a slump in investment banking revenues.
The broad-based S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite managed to hold their own, closing largely unchanged.
The quarterly earnings continue to emerge, with numbers due from the likes of JB Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT), Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW), and PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE:PNC).
Investors will be listening to what the company CEOs say about business conditions for clues about whether a recession is on the horizon.
United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) will also be in the spotlight, trading 2.4% higher premarket, after the carrier late Tuesday forecast at least a four-fold jump in full-year profit for this year and reported robust demand in the fourth quarter earnings.
Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock rose 6.7% premarket after the pharmaceutical company said its vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus is effective at preventing the disease in older adults. It intends to file an application for approval with the Food and Drug Administration in the first half of this year.
There is a busy diary of Fed speakers Wednesday, with Raphael Bostic, Esther George, Patrick Harker, Lorie Logan and James Bullard all due to speak.
After raising rates at an aggressive pace last year, the Fed is expected to slow down to an increase of one-quarter of a percentage point, and these speeches will be studied for confirmation of this thinking.
The release of December U.S. producer price, retail sales and industrial production numbers later Wednesday will also be studied carefully for signs of the impact of the sharp rise in interest rates.
Oil prices rose to six-week highs Wednesday, extending the previous session’s gains on increased optimism that the removal of the COVID restrictions from the Chinese economy will result in a sharp recovery in the demand for fuel in the largest consumer of crude this year.
The International Energy Agency, in its monthly report, predicted that this rebounding Chinese demand would result in the market swinging to a deficit of 1.6 million barrels a day in the third quarter that widens to 2.4 million b/d by the end of the year, despite record-high global oil supply.
The American Petroleum Institute is set to report its weekly forecast of U.S. crude stockpiles, a day later than usual after Monday’s U.S. holiday.
By 07:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 2.1% higher at $82.10 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1.7% to $87.35. Both contracts surged over 2% on Tuesday in a late-session rally.
Additionally, gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,917.85/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.3% higher at 1.0818.