With trading resuming following the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday, stocks may show a lack of direction during Friday’s session. The major index futures are currently pointing to roughly flat open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by less than a tenth of a percent.
Traders may remain away from their desks following yesterday’s holiday, as the markets are due to close earlier than usual.
A lack of major U.S. economic data may also keep some traders on the sidelines ahead of next week’s reports on new home sales, consumer confidence, pending home sales, manufacturing activity and more.
The Commerce Department’s report on personal income and spending may be in the spotlight next week, as it includes readings on inflation said to be preferred by the Federal Reserve.
The Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in each of the twelve Fed districts, may also attract attention next week along with remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell.
Traders will be looking for additional clues about the outlook for interest rates, with optimism the Fed is done raising rates contributing to recent strength on Wall Street.
Following the pullback seen during Tuesday’s session, stocks moved back to the upside during trading on Wednesday. The major averages gave back ground after an early surge but managed to remain in positive territory.
The Dow advanced 184.74 points or 0.5 percent to35,273.03 and the S&P 500 climbed 18.43 points or 0.4 percent to 4,556.62, reaching their best closing levels in over three months, while the Nasdaq rose 65.88 points or 0.5 percent to 14,265.86.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged by 2.0 percent.
The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 0.1 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are sliding $0.65 to $76.45 a barrel after falling $0.67 to $77.10 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, after slipping $8.80 to $1,992.80 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up $4.30 to $1,997.10 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 149.59 yen versus the 149.56 yen it fetched on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0913 compared to yesterday’s $1.0905.
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