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Dec 23, 2016

U.S. Stock Market Future Indications: U.S. Stock Futures Point to Holiday-Induced Slumbr, But Banks May Be on The Move


Carla Mozee


U.S. stock futures showed little signs of life Friday as investors headed into the holiday weekend, but bank shares may come into focus after two European lenders reached settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMH7, +0.02%  edged up 2 points to 19,875.00 and S&P 500 futures ESH7, +0.02%   were up less than 1 point at 2,259.00. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 NQH7, -0.04%  rose less than 1 point at 4,937.25.
Trading volume is expected to be light on Friday as investors prepare for their Christmas celebrations this weekend. Markets are closed on Monday.
But bank stocks KBE, +0.14%  on Friday could be relatively active after the U.S. Department of Justice reached separate settlements with German lender Deutsche Bank DB, -0.91% DBK, +2.44%  and Swiss lender Credit Suisse CS, -1.32% CSGN, -0.98%  related to alleged misselling of mortgage-backed securities. Deutsche Bank’s settlement of $7.2 billion was less than the $14 billion authorities has initially sought.
The settlements “should allow a line to be drawn under stateside crisis-era legal issues, although note a rather more stubborn Barclays [is] refusing to settle for anything more than $1 billion to $2 billion,” said Accendo Markets analysts Mike van Dulken and Henry Croft in a Friday note.
U.S. stocks on Thursday ended lower in thin volume ahead of the Christmas Day holiday. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.19% shed 4.22 points, or 0.2%, 2,260.96. But that’s just 11 points below its all-time high set last week. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.44%  declined 24.01 points, or 0.4%, at 5,447.42, but it’s still near its record level set on Tuesday.
The Dow Jones Industrials Average DJIA, -0.12% ended 23.08 points, or 0.1%, lower at 19,918.88, as yet unable to capture the closely watched 20,000 level.
“Financial markets were exhausted on Thursday, with most stocks drifting lower as investors offloaded positions ahead of the Christmas break,” wrote Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM Research. “Although Wall Street succumbed to the bears on Thursday, the heightened expectations of a Santa rally elevating the Dow Jones to the golden 20,000 mark could re-attract risk-hungry investors.”
Read: Why Dow 20,000 isn’t a foregone conclusion in 2016
Also: Why Dow 20K is the mark of an underachieving market
Data: At 10 a.m. Eastern time, a reading on new-home sales in November is due and economists are looking for an increase to an annualized rate of 585,000.
At the same time, the final reading on consumer sentiment in December from the University of Michigan is expected to be nudged up to 98.3 from 98.0.
Check out MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar.
For the week, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are on track for gains of 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively. The Dow industrials are on track for a weekly rise of 0.4%. That would mark a seventh-straight week of gains for the Dow, according to FactSet data.
Corporates: Uniform and office maintenance supply company Cintas Corp. CTAS, +0.49% late Thursday forecast fiscal 2017 earnings of $4.57 to $4.65 a share on revenue of $5.18 billion to $5.23 billion. Analysts expect $4.61 a share on revenue of $5.22 billion.
Prestige Brands Holdings Inc. PBH, -0.93%   said late Thursday it plans to buy privately held C.B. Fleet Co. for $825 million. Fleet is known for its line of over-the-counter enemas and laxatives, as well as its Summers Eve line of feminine hygiene products.
Other markets: European stocks SXXP, +0.05% were circling the flatline, but Deutsche Bank shares pushed higher in Frankfurt following its DOJ settlement. Asian stocks slipped, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.28%  off 0.3%.
Oil futures CLG7, -0.77%  were off nearly 1% and gold futures GCG7, +0.18% were slightly higher. The U.S. ICE Dollar Index DXY, -0.05% was down 0.1%.