Stock index futures signal mixed Wall Street opening

Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:11am EDT
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(Reuters) - Stock futures signaled a mixed opening for Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.1 percent, the Dow Jones futures down 0.2 percent and the Nasdaq 100 futures falling 0.1 percent.

The Mortgage Bankers Association releases Weekly Mortgage Market Index at 7.00 a.m. EDT for the week ended March 9. The mortgage market index read 754.4 and the refinancing index was at 4,141.7 in the previous week.

Most of the largest U.S. banks passed their annual stress test, according to the Federal Reserve, in a conservative report card that underscored the recovery of the financial sector but called out a few laggards, including Citigroup.

The U.S. stock market posted its best day this year on Tuesday, with a late spark coming from JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N after the bank announced it will raise its dividend.

Trading in U.S. banks listed in Europe was thin. JPMorgan listed in Frankfurt (JPM.F: Quote) was up 5 percent after 546 shares changed hands in four trades. Bank of America was up 5.4 percent BAC.F after 12,000 shares traded in 13 moves. Citigroup (TRVC.DE: Quote) was up 0.8 percent on the Xetra platform.

The Commerce Department releases Q4 current account deficit numbers at 1230 GMT. Economists forecast a $114.2 billion deficit in Q4 versus a deficit of $110.28 billion in Q3.

The U.S. Federal Reserve gave few clues on Tuesday on the prospects for further monetary easing, offering just a slight upgrade to its economic outlook while restating concerns about the high level of unemployment.

The Labor Department releases at 8.30 a.m. EDT import-export prices for February. Economists forecast a 0.6 percent rise in import prices and a 0.2 percent increase in export prices. In the prior month, import prices rose 0.3 percent and export prices were up 0.2 percent.

Japan's Nikkei average .N225 climbed 1.5 percent to close above 10,000 for the first time in seven months.   Continued...

Traders work just after the opening bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange March 12, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger