Futures Point To Strong Open Wall Street; Bank Earnings In Focus

  1. Wall Street poised for strong open

US stock futures pointed to a stronger open on Friday ahead of first-quarter earnings season, which is expected to offer clues on the health of the U.S. banking sector and the economy.

At 6:13 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow traded up 163 points, or 0.62% to 26,296.00. Futures on the S&P 500 rose 12.87 points, or 0.45% to 2,904.62 while those on the Nasdaq 100 were up 31.75, or 0.42% to 7,649.00.

  1. Big banks kick off March quarter earnings 

The first-quarter earnings season is officially upon us with Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) opening the floodgates today. Both banking giants are scheduled to release their reports before the opening bell.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) will report before the opening bell on Monday. Market participants are expected to keep a keen eye on the type of outlooks that managements of the banks will provide for the quarter and year ahead. Analysts forecast that earnings for S&P 500 companies will drop 4.2% on year-over-year basis, based on figures compiled by FactSet.

  1. Uber files to go public

Uber on Thursday submitted its S-1 to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), setting the stage for the ride-hailing giant to become a public company in May. The company will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, using the ticker symbol “UBER.”

Management did not reveal the valuation the are seeking but reports suggest they are aiming to offer around $10 billion shares, which would give the company valuation of between $90 billion to $100 billion. Uber’s filing comes a few weeks after rival Lyft went public on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

  1. Chevron buys Anadarko for $33 billion

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) has agreed to acquire rival Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) in cash and stock deal worth $33 billion or $65 per share. The offer represents a 39% premium to the closing price of Anadarko’s shares on Thursday.

Shareholders of Anadarko will receive 0.3869 Chevron shares and $16.25 in cash for each share held. The deal is expected to beef up Chevron’s LNG business and bolster its presence in the Permian basin. Shares of Anadarko ran up 29% to $60 in premarket trading, while those of Chevron fell 4% to $119.