* Intel shares drop after forecast disappoints
* CPI falls in Deecember
* Futures off: Dow 58 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 16 pts (Adds quote, data)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Jan 16 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were set for a slightly lower open on Friday, following five straight days of losses for major indexes, as markets continue to absorb the shock of Switzerland’s move to ditch its currency cap.
Investors struggled to interpret the impact of the move by the Swiss National Bank. The decision might be seen as a foreshadowing of a large stimulus move by the European Central Bank next week that would further weaken the euro, or as a safeguard against a possible Greek exit from the euro zone that could potentially destabilize the bloc.
“Most central banks have been really clear about how to telegraph their messages, particularly here in the U.S., so having a bank intentionally surprise caught everybody a little flat footed,” said Dan Curtin, global investment specialist at JP Morgan Private Bank in Boston.
Shares of FXCM Inc, one of the biggest platforms catering to online and retail traders of currencies, tumbled 91.1 percent in premarket trading, after it said it may be in breach of some regulatory capital requirements after client losses related to the Swiss move to scrap the cap on the value of the Swiss franc.
Shares of Interactive Brokers, whose clients also are exposed to currency trades, were down 3.4 percent in premarket trading. The company said several customers suffered losses in excess of their deposit due to the sudden move in the Swiss franc. Gain Capital, down 6.4 percent, said its financial position remained sound after the franc move.
Futures pared losses after data showed consumer prices recorded their biggest decline in six years in December and underlying inflation pressures were benign, which could bolster the case for the Federal Reserve to delay its first interest rate increase.
At 9:15 a.m. (1415 GMT), December industrial output and capacity utilization numbers will be released, while the University of Michigan consumer sentiment gauge for January is due shortly after the market opens.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 5 points and fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract, indicated a slightly lower open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures fell 58 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures lost 16 points.
Energy stocks were set to rebound alongside a bounce in the price of crude. Brent futures rose more than 2.5 percent to near $ 49.48 a barrel after the International Energy Agency forecast the market downtrend would end. Still, analysts said strong gains were unlikely in the near term as global output outweighs demand.
Schlumberger, the world’s No.1 oilfield services provider, said it will cut 9,000 jobs, or 7 percent of its workforce, as a seven-month-long decline in oil prices pushed it to control costs.
Intel shares slipped 0.1 percent in premarket trading a day after the chipmaker gave a disappointing forecast for revenue and gross margins for this quarter.
With the continuing retreat, Wall Street was poised for its fourth negative week out of the past six. The benchmark S&P has fallen for five straight sessions and ten of the past 12 days. The index is down 4.7 percent from its last record high Dec. 29.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
- Investment & Company Information
- Swiss National Bank
- Swiss franc
- European Central Bank