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.
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
Applied Materials Inc. shares
slipped after the chip-making equipment provider’s earnings topped Wall Street expectations, but its outlook wasn’t as robust as expected.
Deere & Co.
traded higher Friday, after the maker of agricultural, construction and forestry equipment reported fiscal second-quarter results that beat expectations by wide margins and raised its net income outlook, with particular strength in its production and precision agriculture business.
Foot Locker Inc.
stock was down 22.5% after the company reported first-quarter sales and earnings below analysts’ expectations and lowered its outlook.