* Futures down: Dow 39 pts, S&P 7 pts, Nasdaq 13.5 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
April 13 U.S. stock index futures were slightly
lower on Thursday following President Donald Trump's remarks on
the U.S. dollar and interest rates, while investors kept an eye
on bank earnings.
* The dollar, already suffering from a risk-off mode in the
market amid geopolitical tensions, hit its lowest level this
month after Trump told the Wall Street Journal that the dollar
"was getting too strong" and that he would like to see interest
rates stay low.
* Gold, which has become the preferred asset in the
past week as investors scurried to safety, was up 0.11 percent,
continuing to hit levels unseen in over five months.
* Wall Street ended lower on Wednesday, responding to
Trump's comments and as investors stayed away from making big
bets ahead of the earnings season.
* JPMorgan shares were up 1.3 percent at $86.50
premarket after the biggest U.S. bank by assets reported a
better-than-expected quarterly profit.
* The results also lifted shares of other banks. Citigroup
and Wells Fargo, which are due to report premarket
on Thursday, were marginally up.
* Bank of America and Goldman Sachs trimmed
earlier losses to trade little changed.
* The results mark the beginning of the first-quarter
earnings season, which investors will closely watch to justify
lofty valuations in the market.
* The combined profit of S&P 500 companies is estimated to
have risen about 10 percent. However, the index is trading at
about 18 times forward earnings estimate, compared with its
historical average of 15, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
* Reports on weekly jobless claims and the March producer
price index are expected at 8:30 a.m. ET.
* The University of Michigan will release its consumer
sentiment data for April at 10:00 a.m. ET.
* Shares of Applied Optoelectronics jumped nearly
23 percent to $50.15 after the company said it expected
first-quarter earnings to exceed its forecast .
* Trading volumes could be lower than usual on Thursday
ahead of the Good Friday holiday.
Futures snapshot at 6:58 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were down 39 points, or 0.19 percent,
with 27,907 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 7 points, or 0.3 percent,
with 183,128 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 13.5 points, or 0.25
percent, on volume of 29,361 contracts.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by