Stock futures lower on earnings; Best Buy plunges

Associated Press
FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 file photo, traders gather at a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. World stock markets struggled on Thursday Jan. 16, 2014 as they fought to scrape out more gains a day after a key U.S. benchmark climbed to a new high on strong earnings and economic data. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures were edging lower as investors analyzed the earnings of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Best Buy and others.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 31 points to 16,377 about 20 minutes before the opening bell. The Standard & Poor's 500 index futures were down 3.5 points to 1,838.10 and the Nasdaq futures lost 1.5 points to 3,596.75.

BEST BUY SINKS: The electronics retail chain plunged 29 percent in pre-market trading. Best Buy's sales fell 0.8 percent for the nine weeks ended Jan. 4, while analysts had expected growth. The holiday shopping period is the most important time of the year for retailers, where chains like Best Buy can make up to 40 percent of their annual sales.

BANKS IN FOCUS: Goldman Sachs and Citigroup reported earnings before the opening bell. Citigroup reported fourth-quarter results that fell short of analysts' expectations, due to weakness in its bond and mortgage businesses, sending its stock down 3 percent in pre-market trading. Goldman Sachs also reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit to due problems in its mortgages and bond trading division. However, Goldman's earnings beat analysts' expectations, and shares were flat in pre-market trading.

JOBS: The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 2,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, a sign that layoffs are weighing less on the job market and economic growth. The less volatile four-week average dropped 13,500 to 335,000.

BONDS: Prices on U.S. government bonds rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, a benchmark for many kinds of loans including home mortgages, fell to 2.86 percent from 2.89 percent the day before.