July 14, 2015 / 1:14 PM / 2 years ago

Wall Street set to open slightly lower

REUTERS - Wall Street was set to open slightly lower on Tuesday as investor braced for a weak corporate reports for the quarter and as retail sales unexpectedly fell in June, which could raise concerns the economy was slowing again.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the closing bell in New York, July 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

U.S. companies are expected to report their worst sales decline in nearly six years when they post second-quarter results, while earnings are expected to have fallen 2.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters estimates data.

“The focus is shifting from macro factors to micro as we head into earnings season,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

“Expectations are very low for the second quarter and the headwind from the strong dollar will continue.”

Oil prices recovered some losses after a slump due to expectations of increased supply after Iran’s nuclear deal. Brent crude futures fell as much as 2.5 percent to $56.43 a barrel, its lowest in over three months, while U.S. crude was trading at $52.12 per barrel.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 1 points, or 0.05 percent, with 109,271 contracts traded at 8:46 a.m. ET (1246 GMT). Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 5.75 points, or 0.13 percent, on volume of 15,796 contracts while Dow e-minis were down 12 points, or 0.07 percent, with 12,086 contracts changing hands.

The Commerce Department said retail sales slipped 0.3 percent in June. The reading, the weakest since February, comes on the heels of June’s disappointing employment report and sharp drop in small business confidence.

The U.S. quarterly earnings kicked off in earnest with JPMorgan and Wells Fargo reporting results.

JPMorgan’s shares fell marginally to $68.03 in premarket trading after the bank reported a 5.2 percent increase in quarterly profit as expenses declined.

Wells Fargo slipped 1.3 percent to $56 after the biggest mortgage lender’s revenue missed expectations.

Dow component Johnson & Johnson fell 1.2 percent to $99.10 after its revenue fell 9 percent.

Micron jumped 13 percent to $19.89 after sources told Reuters that a Chinese company is preparing a $23 billion bid for memory chip maker.

Amazon rose 1.2 percent to $461.05 after UBS upgraded the company’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”.

Editing by Savio D'Souza

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