By Noreen Burke
Investing.com -- U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat open on Wall Street on Monday as investors awaited corporate earnings reports, including more bank results as well as remarks from Federal Reserve officials which could offer insights into the future path of interest rates.
Wall Street ended lower on Friday as mixed economic data cemented expectations for another rate hike from the Fed in May, dampening investor enthusiasm after a series of big U.S. bank earnings kicked off first quarter earnings season.
While banking heavyweights including JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) benefitted from higher interest payments, focus will be on smaller banks that were at the center of last month's turmoil in the financial sector.
Major U.S. banks including Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS ), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ) will report through the week, while Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCHW ) and State Street (NYSE: STT ) are among the financial companies reporting ahead of the open on Monday.
But investor focus may now turn to how more consumer discretionary companies are faring given persistently high inflation and the Fed's aggressive rate-hiking cycle.
Several central bank policymakers including New York Fed President John Williams and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester are due to speak later in the week, with investors on the lookout for their assessment on the risk of a recession and when rate hikes may pause.
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