After turning lower over the course of the previous session, stocks are likely to move back to the upside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 142 points.
The markets may benefit from recent upward momentum, which has lifted the major averages well off their June lows to their highest levels in three months.
Optimism that inflation has peaked may also contribute to continued strength on Wall Street following this week’s tamer than expected readings on consumer and producer prices.
Potentially adding to the positive sentiment about inflation, the Labor Department released a report showing U.S. import prices fell by more than expected in the month of July.
The Labor Department said import prices slumped by 1.4 percent in July after rising by an upwardly revised 0.3 percent in June.
Economists had expected import prices to decline by 1.0 percent compared to the 0.2 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.
The report also showed export prices tumbled by 3.3 percent in July after climbing by 0.7 percent in June. Export prices were expected to decrease by 1.1 percent.
Shortly after the start of trading, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its preliminary reading on consumer sentiment in the month of August.
The consumer sentiment index is expected to inch up to 52.5 in August from 51.5 in July, although traders may pay closer to attention to the readings on inflation expectations.
Stocks showed a strong move to the upside in early trading on Thursday but gave back ground over the course of the session. The major averages showed a notable downturn after reaching their best intraday levels in three months.
The major averages eventually finished the day mixed. The tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped as much as 1.3 percent but ended the day down 74.89 points or 0.6 percent to 12,779.92. The S&P 500 also edged down 2.97 points or 0.1 percent to 4,207.27, while the narrower Dow inched up 27.16 points or 0.1 percent to 33,336.67.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index surged by 2.6 percent following a holiday on Thursday, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index dipped by 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has climbed by 0.6 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 0.3 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slumping $1.74 to $92.60 a barrel after surging $2.41 to $94.34 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after falling $6.50 to $1,807.20 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are edging down $0.60 to $1,806.60 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 133.62 yen versus the 133.02 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0282 compared to yesterday’s $1.0320.
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