Markets set for a slightly positive open as traders eye bank earnings

Wall Street stocks

Bank earnings in focus

U.S. stock markets were set to open marginally higher on Friday as traders awaited another batch of earnings reports from some of the nation’s biggest banks.

As of 5:30 a.m. ET, futures for the blue-chip Dow rose 72 points, or 0.24% to 30,676. S&P 500 futures gained 10 points, or 0.26% to 3,803.25 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures were up 32.75 points, or 0.28% to 11,830.25.

Big bank earnings continue today with Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC), and BlackRock (BLK) scheduled to report before the opening bell.

Stocks had a rough session on Thursday after JPMorgan (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS) kicked off second-quarter earnings season on a negative note.

JPMorgan announced it would temporarily halt stock buybacks, following a weaker-than-expected Q2 earnings report. Morgan Stanley also posted second-quarter earnings and revenue that missed analysts’ estimates.

June retail sales data on tap

On the economic data front, market players are eyeing the release of June retail sales data due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal expect the report to show that retail sales rose 0.9% in June after a drop of 0.3% in the previous month.

The retail sales data comes a day after Federal Reserve Gov. Christopher Waller voiced support for a 75 bps rate hike, following a hotter-than-anticipated inflation report.

Also due out is the University of Michigan sentiment survey, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index for July, data on import and export prices for June, and data on industrial production for June.

Pinterest shares rocket after news of Elliot’s stake build-up

Shares of Pinterest (PINS) moved higher in the premarket trading session Friday after the Wall Street Journal reported activist investor Elliot Management took a stake in the company and is holding talks with the social media company.

Elliott amassed a stake of more than 9% in Pinterest and told the company it is now the biggest shareholder.

The Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, said the activist investor has been in discussions with Pinterest for the past several weeks.

As of writing, Pinterest stock was indicated 14.81% higher to $20.16 a share in the premarket trading session. The stock has lost more than 50% since the beginning of the year.