S&P 500 heads for first weekly gain in 3 as debt-ceiling hopes boost markets

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U.S. stocks on Friday looked likely to build on gains after a two day rally which took the S&P 500 index to its highest close since August as hopes for a debt-ceiling deal in Congress boosted sentiment.

What’s happening

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures

    rose 98 points, or 0.2%, to 33,717.

  • S&P 500 futures

    gained 12 points, or 0.3%, to 4,224.

  • Nasdaq 100 futures

    were flat at 13,897.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 115 points, or 0.34%, to 33536, the S&P 500

increased 39 points, or 0.94%, to 4198, and the Nasdaq Composite

gained 188 points, or 1.51%, to 12689.

What’s driving markets

The S&P 500 finished Thursday’s session at its highest level since August, and the large-cap index looks set to log its first weekly gain after two back-to-back weekly losses.

Better than expected corporate earnings and economic data, along with hopes for a debt ceiling deal as soon as next week, are helping to push markets higher, said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B.Riley Wealth.

“The momentum from this week’s constructive action seems to be carrying into Friday,” Hogan said during a phone interview.

Investors who had been betting against stocks appear to be scrambling to buy them as the U.S. economy shows signs of continuing to grow, while mostly hopeful signs have emerged from negotiations to lift the U.S. government’s debt ceiling.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is due to step up to the microphone at 11 a.m. Eastern — in a conversation with former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke — following recent commentary from central bank officials including Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan who seem ready to at least consider raising interest rates next month.

Friday also will see the expiration the monthly expiration of stock options contracts.

One segment missing out has been U.S.-listed Chinese stocks, as the KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF

ended 4% lower on Thursday and has dropped 11% this year. The Hang Seng

closed 1.4% lower on Friday.

Companies in focus


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