U.S. Stocks May See Further Upside In Early Trading

Stocks may move to the upside in early trading on Friday, extending the strong upward move seen over the past several sessions. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by 0.2 percent.

The markets may continue to benefit from recent upward momentum, which has contributed to a six-session winning streak for the S&P 500.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq once again reached their best closing levels in over a year on Thursday, while the Dow set a new six-month closing high.

Buying interest may be somewhat subdued, however, as some traders are likely to take a breather to assess the near-term outlook for the markets.

Following yesterday’s avalanche of data, the U.S. economic calendar is relatively quiet today, although traders are still likely to keep an eye on a preliminary report on consumer sentiment in June.

The report from the University of Michigan includes readings on inflation expectations that could impact the outlook for interest rates.

While the Federal Reserve has forecast additional rate hikes this year, traders seem to be questioning whether the central bank will follow through.

CME Group’s FedWatch Tool is currently pointing to just one quarter point rate hike compared to the two forecast by the Fed.

Following the mixed performance seen in the previous session, stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading day on Thursday.

The major averages pulled back off their highs of the session going into the close but held on to strong gains. The Dow shot up 428.73 points or 1.3 percent to 34,408.06, the Nasdaq jumped 156.34 points or 1.2 percent to 13,782.82 and the S&P 500 surged 53.25 points or 1.2 percent to 4,425.84.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.1 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has rallied by 1.0 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.2 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are inching up $0.18 to $70.80 a barrel after surging $2.35 to $70.62 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after inching up $1.80 to $1,970.70 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $7.80 to $1,978.50 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 141.01 yen versus the 140.29 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0961 compared to yesterday’s $1.0945.

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