Stock futures stage rally as Wall Street awaits more bank earnings

Wall Street

More bank earnings ahead

U.S. stock markets are expected to open modestly higher on Thursday morning as more quarterly financial results from some of the nation’s biggest banks.

Citigroup (NYSE: C), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) will report ahead of the market open.

Analysts expect Citigroup to post earnings of $1.68 per share on revenue of $17.01 billion. Bank of America is expected to come out with earnings of 71 cents per share on revenue of $21.78 billion.

Morgan Stanley is forecast to have earned $1.69 per share on revenue of $9.68 billion. Analysts see Wells Fargo announcing earnings of 99 cents per share on revenue of $18.37 billion.

At around 5:15 a.m. ET, futures for the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 190 points, or 0.55% to 34,447. S&P 500 futures added 30 points, or 0.69% to 4,385 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 128.75 points, or 0.87% to 14,893.

Fed minutes show taper could begin in mid-November

The U.S. Federal Reserve could start scaling back its $120 billion asset-buying program either in mid-November or mid-December, minutes of the Sept. 21-22 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting show.

“Participants noted that if a decision to begin tapering purchases occurred at the next meeting, the process of tapering could commence with the monthly purchase calendars beginning in either mid-November or mid-December,” the Fed minutes read.

The tapering process could see the central bank begin by cutting $5 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities and $10 billion a month in Treasurys.

The minutes, which were released on Wednesday, also revealed that “a number” of Fed policymakers believe that the economy has met the test of “substantial further progress” toward full employment.

Jobless claims, PPI data on tap

Today’s economic calendar includes initial unemployment claims report for the week ended Oct. 9.

The data, scheduled to be released by the Labor Department at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show a total of 320,000 unemployment claims were filed last week, versus 326,000 during the prior week.

Continuing claims for the week ended Oct. 2 are seen coming in at 2.67 million, down slightly from 2.714 million a week earlier.

Traders will also get a reading of the producer price index for September, which is also due out at 8:30 a.m. ET.