* Futures down: Dow 9 pts, S&P 2 pts, Nasdaq 2.75 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
April 12 U.S. stock index futures were little
changed on Wednesday as rising geopolitical tensions and the
approaching earnings season weighed on investors' risk appetite.
* The United States launched missiles at a Syrian airfield
last week to retaliate a deadly chemical attack on civilians.
The strikes pushed President Donald Trump, who came to power in
January calling for warmer ties with Russia, and his
administration into confrontation with Moscow.
* The White House on Tuesday accused Russia of shielding the
Syrian government from the blame for the chemical attack, even
as Trump said he had no plans to "go into" the war-torn country.
* Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the U.S.
for a peaceful resolution with North Korea, which has warned it
would launch a nuclear attack if provoked by the United States,
as a U.S. Navy strike group headed toward the western Pacific.
* Corporate earnings are likely to provide the next catalyst
for the market as investors focus on fundamentals to justify
lofty valuations on Wall Street. The big banks unofficially
kick-off the season on Thursday, with results due from JPMorgan
, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.
* Gold prices were flat but remained close to the
highest level hit in November. The dollar index was also
little changed, while oil prices edged up slightly.
* Comments from Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert
Kaplan will be parsed for any clues on interest rate hikes and
the Fed's plans to trim its balance sheet. Kaplan is expected to
speak at 10:00 a.m. ET. (1300 GMT)
* Shares moving premarket included Whole Foods,
which rose 2.8 percent to $34.50 after Bloomberg reported
overnight that Amazon.com had mulled buying the organic
food chain last year.
* Pipeline operator NuStar Energy dropped 7.5 percent
to $47.60 after agreeing to buy Navigator Energy for $1.48
Futures snapshot at 6:56 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were down 9 points, or 0.04 percent,
with 25,041 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.09
percent, with 147,572 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 2.75 points, or 0.05
percent, on volume of 26,975 contracts.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by