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US pre-open: Futures mixed ahead of bank earnings

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures were mixed ahead of the bell on Friday as market focus turned to the beginning of Q1 earnings season. As of 1200 BST, Dow Jones futures were up 0.05%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.19% and 0.41% lower, respectively.

The Dow closed just 2.43 points lower on Thursday as investors thumbed over yet another key inflation report.

Friday's primary focus will be on corporate results from a number of big banks, with BlackRock shares up 2% in pre-market after the asset manager posted better-than-expected first-quarter figures as adjusted earnings per share came to $9.81 and revenues hit $4.73bn.

JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup were also slated to report before the open.

Scope Markets' Joshua Mahony said: "Today sees the big banks kick off earnings season in the US, with JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Blackrock, Citigroup, and State Street all reporting before the bell. With the US economy holding up relatively well over the course of the first quarter, there is a hope that the banks will be able to take advantage of the higher rates to bring strong profit margins over the period.

"Crucially, this year is expected to see a shift away from overreliance on tech growth and instead see a more widespread expansion in growth rates as the economy benefits from a more growth-focused policy mix from the government and central bank. Unfortunately, that wider expansion in the economy may be delayed should the Fed continue to hold off in response to stubbornly high inflation."

On the macro front, March's import/export price index will be out at 1330 BST, while a preliminary reading of the University of Michigan's April consumer sentiment index will be released at 1500 BST.

Elsewhere, Federal Reserve bankers Jeffrey Schmid, Raphael Bostic and Mary Daly will all deliver speeches throughout the course of the day.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com

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