Futures dip as big banks kick off earnings season

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[October 12, 2017]   By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) - Futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Thursday, with JPMorgan reporting its quarterly results, kicking off the earnings season in earnest.

* JPMorgan <JPM.N>, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, dropped 0.40 percent after posting a rise in better-than-expected quarterly profit, but a slump in bond trading clouded its loan growth and benefits from higher interest rates.

* Wall Street banks have already warned of lower trading revenue, but investors will watch for guidance from executives. Citigroup <C.N>, which reports later in the day, was down 0.59 percent.

* Bank of America <BAC.N> and Wells Fargo <WFC.N>, scheduled to report earnings on Friday, were also down.

* With the S&P 500 up 14 percent in 2017, investors are betting on strong earnings growth across the S&P 500.

* Also on tap is a report on producer prices for September, coming as Federal Reserve policymakers debate about stubbornly-low inflation as they decide on when to raise interest rates next.

* The Labor Department report at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) is expected to show the producer price index rose 0.4 percent in September, after rising 0.2 percent in August.

* However, the more crucial reading of inflation will come from consumer price data on Friday. Many analysts have warned the data will be muddied by recent hurricanes.

* The economic data also comes as the hunt for Janet Yellen's successor to chair the Fed gathers steam.

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

* Reports on Wednesday that Fed Governor Jerome Powell, seen as a safe pick for financial markets, was being pushed as a successor helped Wall Street close at fresh record highs.

* Powell and fellow governor, Lael Brainard, are scheduled to speak later in the day.

* Among stocks, AT&T fell more than 1 percent after the company said its third-quarter results took a hit from the string of hurricanes.

* J.Jill plunged 39 percent after the women's fashion retailer slashed its third-quarter forecast.

Futures snapshot at 7:04 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were down 19 points, or 0.08 percent, with 12,419 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 3.75 points, or 0.15 percent, with 75,087 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 1 points, or 0.02 percent, on volume of 12,136 contracts.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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