US Markets

US traders mull Saudi Arabia, earnings and Fed


U.S. stock index futures traded lower Monday, ahead of major central bank meetings and the busiest week of first-quarter earnings season.

Monday was comparatively quiet for quarterly reports, with KKR and Xerox posting results before the bell. Both companies will host conference calls at 10 a.m. ET.

Halliburton, which was also scheduled to report, delayed the release of its earnings until May 3 to accommodate the April 30 deadline to close acquisition of Baker Hughes.

Read More Halliburton says it cut 6,000 jobs in Q1, delays earnings call

The major data due on Monday are new home sales for March.

European and Asian stock indexes traded lower on Monday as crude oil prices fell. Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC, is expected to announce a plan later on Monday to diversify its economy away from oil production.

U.S. crude oil futures turned higher to trade near $43.85 a barrel as of 8:41 a.m. ET.

Read More Saudi Aramco set to be valued at more than $2 trillion

The Federal Reserve will hold a policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is unlikely to raise interest rates but may leave the door open for a rise at its next meeting in June.

Tony Avelar | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"In total, we expect the Fed to hike rates three times this year, to a range of 1.00 percent to 1.25 percent at year-end, as officials switch their focus from downside global risks to rising core inflation," economist Paul Ashworth said in a note from Capital Economics on Friday.

The Bank of Japan is due to release its statement on monetary policy Thursday.

The yen was near 111 yen against the greenback in early morning trade. The U.S. dollar index traded about a third of a percent lower, with the euro near $1.126.

U.S. President Barack Obama is in Germany on Monday to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders.

U.S. Barack Obama greets German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the opening evening of the Hannover Messe trade fair on April 24, 2016 in Hanover, Germany.
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Major U.S. indexes ended mixed on Friday, with tech stocks leading declines after earnings in the sector disappointed. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 0.1 percent, the S&P 500 was flat and the Nasdaq composite was down 0.8 percent.

Shares of major tech companies, including Microsoft and Google's parent, Alphabet, fell last week by more than 5 percent after earnings missed forecasts.

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— Reuters contributed to this report.