By Amy Caren Daniel
April 15 () - Wall Street was set for a subdued open on Monday after earnings from U.S. lenders Goldman Sachs and Citigroup failed to provide a boost, even as reports suggested of progress in U.S.-China trade talks.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc fell 1.8% after its quarterly revenue missed estimates as three of its four main businesses recorded a drop in revenue.
Their results come after JPMorgan Chase's upbeat earnings on Friday eased fears that the first-quarter earnings season would slam the brakes on Wall Street's big rally back from last year's slump, and helped put the benchmark S&P 500 within a percent of its September record closing high.
"People are sort of looking for direction," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
"We've got a lot of earnings reports coming in, including the banks, and they are important because they ought to tell us something about the state of the economy."
U.S. negotiators have tempered demands that China curb industrial subsidies as a condition for a trade deal, sources told , while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he hoped the trade talks were approaching a final lap.
At 8:43 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 20 points, or 0.08%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 1.5 points, or 0.05%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 5.5 points, or 0.07%.
Of the 29 S&P 500 companies reporting results so far, 79.3% have surpassed first-quarter earnings estimate, above the average of past four quarters, according to Refinitiv data.
Analysts expect S&P 500 companies to show a 2.3% year-on-year decline in earnings, their first annual contraction since 2016.
However, financials are forecast to post earnings growth of 3%, among the few sectors estimated to log positive earnings growth.
Among other stocks moving premarket, Waste Management Inc rose 3.2%, after the company said it would buy smaller rival Advanced Disposal Services Inc for about $3 billion.
Wells Fargo & Co declined 1.5% following multiple price target cuts after the bank gave a tepid outlook on Friday.
Boeing Co fell 1.1% after U.S. President Donald Trump urged the planemaker in a tweet to fix and "rebrand" its troubled jetliner. Brand consultancy firm Brand Finance said negative publicity over the grounding of its 737 MAX jet is set to wipe $12 billion off the company's brand value.