Wednesday February 8th


US futures point to muted open as traders eye earnings, oil

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open on Wednesday as traders focused on a slew of company earnings and the latest oil inventory data. Allergan, GlaxoSmithKline, Time Warner and Alaska Air are among the major companies that reported earnings before the bell. Whole Foods, CenturyLink, Fiserv and Prudential Financial are all due to report after the market close. There are no major economic data releases scheduled on Wednesday. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was around 0.36 percent higher on Wednesday. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.46 percent higher, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.51 percent higher. The U.S. government reports weekly oil inventory data at 10:30 a.m. ET. If that report confirms American Petroleum Institute data showing a surprise increase in supply, oil prices are likely to continue to drop. Oil prices edged lower on Wednesday to extend falls from the previous session as a spike in U.S. fuel inventories and dwindling Chinese demand suggested global crude markets remain oversupplied. Brent crude traded at around $54.79 a barrel on Wednesday, down 0.5 percent, while U.S. crude was around $51.76 a barrel, down 0.77 percent. Gold hit a three-month peak on Wednesday as the political risk of European elections and worries over President Donald Trump's policies stoked safe-haven demand. Spot gold was up 0.53 percent at $1,240.16 per ounce. On Tuesday, the metal touched its highest since Nov. 11 at $1,239.57. U.S. gold futures were up 0.46 percent at $1,241.80 an ounce.