Stock futures rise slightly after Dow goes negative for the year

Stock futures ticked higher early Friday morning as investors tried to hang onto the January rally amid worries about monetary policy and slowing earnings.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45 points, or 0.14%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.22% and 0.35%, respectively. Nordstrom slipped more than 5% in after hours trading after reporting weak holiday sales and cutting its year-end forecast. Netflix jumped 7% after reporting more subscribers than expected even though its quarterly earnings missed analysts’ estimates.

During Thursday’s session, the Dow and the S&P 500 both closed lower to hit their third negative days in a row as corporate earnings and economic data signal a slowing economy. The Dow slipped more than 252 points, or 0.76% and is now down 0.31% year to date. The S&P 500 shed 0.76% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.96%, but both indexes are positive for the year.

For the week, however, all three indexes are on track to close lower. The Dow is down 3.67%, on track for its worst week since September. The S&P 500 is down more than 2.5% and could notch its worst weekly performance since December. The Nasdaq is down more than 2% and on pace to break a two-week win streak.

“The market is focused and is not sure how to react between the backward looking Fed analysis of the market versus the forward and leading indicators of the market,” said Tim Seymour, founder and chief investment officer of Seymour Asset Management, on CNBC’s “Fast Money.”

Those forward indicators include economic data such as retail sales and industrial production. “This is where the market is starting to break down,” he said.

Going forward, investors will continue to watch corporate earnings with oilfield services name SLB and Ally Financial set to report Friday. They will also listen closely to speeches from Fed officials ahead of the central bank’s February meeting, seeking clues on the size of the rate hike that’s likely forthcoming.

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