U.S. futures were showing strength premarket Wednesday, following a Tuesday session when markets had a strong showing.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were both up 0.5% while Nasdaq futures contracts were rising 0.7%.
Crude prices were giving back some of their gains from the previous session. Industry standard Brent crude contracts for June delivery were down $0.60 to $44.09 per barrel while West Texas crude contracts for May delivery were falling $0.78 to $41.39 per barrel.
Oil prices will be under scrutiny later today following the release of the weekly Energy Information Administration petroleum status report. Last week, crude oil inventories fell by 4.9 million barrels, though gasoline and distillate inventories increased 1.4 million and 1.8 million barrels, respectively.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) was off to a strong start in premarket trading Wednesday following the release of the bank's first quarter results. JPMorgan reported a 6.7% decline in income, but was still able to top analyst estimates for the period. The bank earned $1.35 per share vs. analysts' $1.26 estimate. In the year-ago period, JPMorgan posted EPS of $1.45. Revenue for the first quarter of 2016 fell 3% to $24.1 billion, but also beat consensus estimates.
In other banking news, U.S. regulators rejected the "living wills" of five of the largest U.S. banks Wednesday morning. The decision could result in the banks facing higher capital requirements and other regulatory sanctions thanks to their distinction of being "too big to fail" or "systemically important." The banks have until Oct. 1 to revise their living wills. The living will requirement was a tenet of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that requires big banks to draw up a credible plan to wind down their operations without taxpayer help should the need ever arise. Citigroup (C) was the only one of the big six banks whose plan was approved.
Peabody Energy (BTU) will be under scrutiny today after the country's largest coal company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday. Low natural gas prices, costly regulations and legacy costs have forced the company into insolvency. The company has reported four consecutive yearly losses, including $2 billion last year.
Meanwhile, Verizon (VZ) will also be on the radar today amid a labor dispute that came to a head at 6 a.m. today. About 40,000 wireline employees walked off the job Wednesday morning after failing to agree to a new labor contract with the company. The employees work in Verizon's Fios Internet, telephone and TV services. The last time the employees went on strike was 2011, before a compromise was reached two weeks later.