U.S. stock index futures were almost unchanged as investors awaited the opinion of Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans for indications of the central bank’s policy.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in September slumped 0.15% to 1,702.1 at 11:55 a.m. in London. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 3 points, or less than 0.1%, to 15,557.
“There’s a bit of concern about the Fed tapering its stimulus, but bonds will probably suffer more than equities,” said for Bloomberg Enrico Carbonelli, a Lugano, Switzerland-based associate director of portfolio management at BSI SA, which oversees the equivalent of $93 billion. “The economy in the U.S. seems to be growing faster than Europe. With good data, we can see equities turn higher.” he added.
The S&P 500 fell 0.2% from a record high yesterday after Fed Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher, who is known for his criticism of stimulus program, warned investors not to rely on the central bank’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases. Evans is scheduled to speak to reporters today at 8:30 a.m. EDT in Chicago today. His statement will be heard at noon local time.
In recent corporate news, Washington Post Co. added 5.6% to $600.42 as Bezos, Amazons CEO, agreed to buy the newspaper of the same name. The company, which isnt selling its Kaplan education division and other businesses, plans to change its name.
IBM retreated 0.9% to $193.83 after the world’s biggest computer-services company said U.S. employees in its hardware division will take a week-off with one-third pay starting either Aug. 24 or Aug. 31. The company is cutting costs after demand for its servers continued to slow in the second quarter. Sales in the hardware business, which includes storage devices and microelectronics, lost 12% in the period from a year earlier to $3.76 billion.
Exactly 29 companies in the S&P 500 report earnings today, including Emerson Electric Co. and the Walt Disney Co. Of the 396 members that have posted quarterly results so far, according to Bloomberg 74% have exceeded analysts’ estimates for profit and 56% have beat sales projections.