Premarket futures were intimating a mixed open for U.S. stocks Thursday, as traders braced for a flood of corporate earnings statements and a troubled Swiss bank secured help from its government. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 13 points at 916 and were 6 ahead of fair value. Nasdaq futures were better by 18 points at 1247 but were 4 points short of fair value. On Wednesday, stocks suffered heavy losses as traders turned their attention away from an internationally coordinated solution to the credit crisis to focus on an increasingly weak domestic economy. Ahead of the new trading day, Swiss bank UBS ( UBS) received a $5.3 billion cash injection from the Swiss government in exchange for a 9% equity position in the company. UBS and the Swiss National Bank also reached an agreement for UBS to transfer up to $60 billion of currently illiquid securities and other assets from its balance sheet to a separate fund. Corporate earnings will once again be in focus. Following the close Wednesday, online auctioneer eBay ( EBAY) swung to a third-quarter profit but said its core business may face difficulties ahead. Financial firms Citigroup ( C), Merrill Lynch ( MER), Bank of New York Mellon ( BK) and BB&T ( BBT) are slated to report before the new session begins. Investors also will get quarterly results from telecom firm Nokia ( NOK), steel producer Nucor ( NUE), coal company Peabody Energy ( BTU) and Continental Airlines ( CAL). Shifting to economic data, the Department of Labor's September consumer price index is due for release. Also on tap are the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's manufacturing index and the Fed's industrial production and capacity utilization numbers.
Also scheduled is the Department of Labor's initial jobless claims number for the week ended Oct. 10. Looking at commodities, crude oil was declining $2.13 to $72.41 a barrel. Gold was dropping $1.20 to $837.80. Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were falling in price. The 10-year note was losing 14/32 to yield 4%, and the 30-year was down 21/32, yielding 4.23%. The dollar was gaining on the euro and pound but slipping vs. the yen. Overseas, European markets such as the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were trading lower. In Asia, the Nikkei in Japan and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed with losses.