Stock Futures Mixed; Financial Stocks in Focus
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures are mixed Friday after tame inflation and New York manufacturing reports.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were slipping 1 point, or 15.14 points below fair value, at 14,451.
The Dow posted its 10th-straight winning session on Thursday for the first time since 1996, and the S&P 500 neared its all-time high after a drop in last week's jobless claims bolstered confidence in the world's largest economy.
Futures for the S&P 500 were dipping 0.25 points, or 1.13 points below fair value, at 1,555.75. Futures for the Nasdaq were rising 2.5 points, or 1.95 points above fair value, at 2,802.5.
The Federal Reserve on Thursday approved the plans of 14 of the largest U.S. banks to return value to shareholders after they submitted to a battery of annual stress tests. Bank of America (BAC) and Morgan Stanley (MS) were among those that received approval. Bank of America said it will repurchase up to $5 billion of common stock and redeem about $5.5 billion in preferred shares. The stock was jumping 3.59% to $12.55 in premarket trading, while Morgan Stanley shares were rising 1.62% to $23.17.
The Fed also approved a request from JPMorgan Chase (JPM) to buy back up to $6 billion in stock through the first quarter of 2014 and boost its dividend in the second quarter to 38 cents a share from 30 cents.
Still, the Fed was cautious on its assessment of JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs (GS) and is requiring them to submit new plans to address weaknesses that regulators have identified. Goldman shares were falling 1.5% to $151.76 and JPMorgan was slumping 1.76% to $50.10.
Ally Financial and BB&T's (BBT) plans were rejected by the Fed. BB&T was shedding 2.8% to $30.84.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the Consumer Price Index rose 0.7% in February, greater than the 0.5% gain forecast by economists, after staying flat in January for a second month. The "core" CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2%, as expected, after increasing 0.3%.
The headline CPI gain was led by a spike in gas prices, with other components looking relatively soft, which the BLS said will ease in March.
David Ader, head of U.S. government-bond strategy at CRT Capital Group LLC in Stamford, Conn., said in a note that the inflation gauge will "not be a Fed threatening figure."
The New York Federal Reserve Bank reported that the general business conditions index in its Empire Manufacturing Survey dipped to 9.2 in March from 10 in February. Economists expected a read of 10.
Ader said that elements of the report suggest moderation in March manufacturing activity, but it should still be expansionary.
At 9:15 a.m., the Federal Reserve releases February capacity utilization and industrial production data.