Futures edge lower ahead of earnings, inflation worries persist

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Monday, led by technology shares, ahead of a slate of earnings reports this week, while a relentless surge in oil prices fueled concerns about elevated inflation.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the main trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell of the trading session in the Manhattan borough of New York City, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Facebook Inc, Google-parent Alphabet, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc slipped between 0.1% and 0.7%.

Walt Disney fell 1.6% after Barclays downgraded the media giant’s stock to “equal weight” from “overweight”.

Johnson & Johnson, insurer Travelers, Netflix Inc, Verizon Communications, oilfield services cos Baker Hughes Co, Schlumberger NV, Tesla Inc and Intel Corp are some of the companies set to report their quarterly results later this week.

Forecast-beating results from big U.S. lenders last week set a positive tone for third-quarter earnings season, with analysts expecting S&P 500 earnings to show a 32% rise from a year ago, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley traded mixed before the opening bell.

Investors will watch in coming weeks how Corporate America mitigates the impact on earnings from supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and higher costs, especially in the wake of rising oil prices.

Oil firms including Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp rose 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively, as Brent crude oil hit its highest since Oct 2018. [O/R]

Meanwhile, weaker-than-expected growth in Chinese economy amid rising jitters over its property sector also soured the mood globally. [MKTS/GLOB]

At 6:43 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 91 points, or 0.26%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 14 points, or 0.31%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 63.25 points, or 0.42%.

U.S. stocks rose on Friday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average scored its biggest weekly percentage gain since June, after a Commerce Department report showed retail sales rose unexpectedly in September.

Focus this week will also be on data related to housing starts, building permits, existing home sales, the Philly Fed index and Markit flash PMIs.

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