After ending yesterday’s choppy trading session modestly higher, stocks may come under pressure in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a notably lower open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures down by 1 percent.
Traders may once again look to cash in on recent strength in the markets, which has lifted the major averages well off their June lows.
Recent profit taking efforts have not gained much traction, however, with the major averages holding near their best levels in almost four months.
Nonetheless, a lack of trading activity could exaggerate any early moves by the markets, as traders look ahead to next week’s economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Traders are likely to keep a close eye on comments from Federal Reserve officials at the annual symposium, looking for additional clues about the pace of future rate hikes.
A lack of major U.S. economic may also keep traders on the sidelines ahead of next week’s reports on durable goods orders, new home sales, and personal income and spending.
The personal income and spending report due next Friday is likely to attract particular attention, as it includes a reading on inflation said to be preferred by the Fed.
Following the pullback seen during trading on Wednesday, stocks showed a lack of direction throughout the session on Thursday. The major averages spent most of the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
The major averages eventually ended the session modestly higher. The Dow inched up 18.72 points or 0.1 percent to 33,999.04, the Nasdaq rose 27.22 points or 0.2 percent to 12,965.34 and the S&P 500 edged up 9.70 points or 0.2 percent to 4,283.74.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Friday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up by 0.1 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged marginally lower and China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.6 percent.
The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.5 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 0.7 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slumping $1.52 to $88.98 a barrel after surging $2.39 to $90.50 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after slipping $5.50 to $1,771.20 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are edging down $3.80 to $1,767.40 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 136.91 yen versus the 135.98 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0054 compared to yesterday’s $1.0087.
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