Wall Street is set for a lower open with markets focused on central bank speak as the financial world's 'great and good' meet in Washington for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank's annual meetings, alongside the first quarterly updates from Wall Street's bulge bracket banks.
As of 1332 BST, the Dow Industrials was being called to start the session lower by 21 points to 22,795.00, alongside a 4.5 point drop for the S&P 500
Acting as a backdrop, overnight the minutes of the US central bank's last policy meeting indicated that "many participants" had shown concern that low inflation readings might not only reflect transitory factors. Yet in parallel, some market observers are wary of lofty valuations even for benchmarks such as the S&P 500.
On a related note, according to coindesk prices Bitcoins hit a new all-time high on Thursday morning at $5,226.
Thus, all eyes were on speeches from European Central Bank chief mario Draghi and US Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell in the US Capital scheduled for 15:15 BST and 1530 BST, respectively.
Ahead of their remarks, Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, said: "We'll hear from two permanent voters on the FOMC today, Lael Brainard and Jerome Powell, the latter being one of the final candidates rumoured to be being considered to replace Chair Janet Yellen in February.
"Both have been among the moderately hawkish members of the central bank but appear to fall very much in the unconvinced category, when it comes to the debate on inflation. It will therefore be very interesting to see what they have to say today, should they address it of course."
In economic news, initial jobless claims in the US fell by 15,000 over the week ending on 7 October to reach 243,000 (consensus: 250,000).
Factory gate prices advanced at a 0.4% month-on-month and 2.6% yaer-on-year clip last month, as forecast by economists.
On the corporate front, shares
of Citi were edging higher after the lender reported third quarter earnings per share of $1.42 (consensus: $1.32) on the back of $18.2bn in revenues (consensus: $17.9bn).
Going the other way - although its shares were just off their 52-week highs - JP Morgan posted better than expected EPS for the latest three-month stretch, albeit falling market revenues and higher credit loss provisions.