3 Min Read
* Wells Fargo shares off, profit higher than estimates
* Boeing drops as Dreamliner hit by two more incidents
* Best Buy shares choppy after flat holiday sales report
* Futures: Dow off 7 pts, S&P down 1 pt, Nasdaq off 1 pt
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday, a day after the S&P 500 hit a five-year high and following higher-than-expected results from Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo, the first major U.S. bank to post earnings this season, reported a higher fourth-quarter profit on Friday as it set aside less money to cover bad loans and made more fees from mortgages. Still, its shares fell 1.1 percent to $35 in premarket trading.
Basic materials shares could be hurt after China's annual consumer inflation rate picked up to a seven-month high, narrowing the scope for the central bank to boost the economy by easing monetary policy.
"The bigger news lies ahead of us in terms of earnings and also reports on Christmas sales, which seem to be poor so far," said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Best Buy shares were volatile in premarket trading after it reported flat holiday sales at established U.S. stores. Shares were last up 4.8 percent at $12.80.
Meckler said that in the absence of major news, the market will continue to absorb some of the money that comes in from institutional investors at the start of the year, which could give equities an upside bias.
S&P 500 futures dipped 1 point and were slightly below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 7 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 1 point.
American Express said it would take a $600-million quarterly charge relating to 5,400 job cuts and payment of legal bills, a move likely to halve its net income. Its shares dipped 0.5 percent in premarket trading to $60.51.
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner jet was dogged by further incidents that tested confidence in the new plane. It suffered a cracked cockpit window and an oil leak on separate flights in Japan on Friday. The US Department of Transportation said the jet would be subject to a review of its critical systems by regulators. Boeing shares fell 1.5 percent to $75.90 in premarket trading.
In a move that could support US equities and boost the global economic outlook, the Japanese government approved a massive $117 billion of spending to revive the world's third-largest economy in the biggest stimulus plan since the financial crisis.