By Bryan McCormick
U.S. stock index futures are lower this morning after a weak session in Asia and a broadly negative day in Europe.
Asian markets fell after China raised bank capital reserves by 50 basis points, the latest in a series of attempts to cool off its overheating economy. Asian markets ended lower on the day as a result.
In Europe concerns over inflation prompted a downturn in markets as well, especially in Germany. Inflation exceeded the European Central Bank's target for the first time since May 2007. The size of the eurozone bailout fund would potentially rise, according to French officials, as the crisis in the peripheral economies continues.
The concerns overseas have helped to send the euro lower after its sharp spike higher yesterday. The dollar is trading up this morning as a result. Most commodity prices have eased after a week that saw very large moves.
Intel (INTC) and JP Morgan (JPM) both beat consensus expectations when they reported earnings results, but the market reaction at the time of this writing has been very muted. Intel shares are up $0.30 from yesterday's close, while JP Morgan shares are virtually flat. Although this could change after the opening bell, this apparent lack of interest may prove to be a longer-term problem for bulls as we head deeper into earnings season next week.
Coinstar is the disaster of the day, down more than 26 percent in the pre-market after reporting earnings last night. The company dramatically lowered its fourth-quarter and full-year estimates by nearly 30 percent at the extreme of the new range.
With American markets closed for Martin Luther King Day on Monday, we will see a compressed reporting schedule next week. Among the names reporting on Tuesday are Apple (AAPL), Citigroup (C), Fastenal (FAST), Forest Laboratories (FRX), IBM (IBM), Linear Technology (LLTC), and Western Digital (WDC).
Disclosure: No position