U.S. Stocks May Come Under Pressure Amid Renewed Banking Concerns

After ending Thursday’s volatile session mostly higher, stocks may come under pressure in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a notably lower open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures down by 0.9 percent.

Renewed concerns about the health of the banking sector may inspire traders to cash in on yesterday’s gains, which reflected optimism about an end to the Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle.

U.S.-listed shares of Deutsche Bank (DB) are moving sharply lower in pre-market trading amid a spike by the German lender’s credit default swaps.

A report from Bloomberg indicating Credit Suisse (CS) and UBS Group (UBS) are among banks under scrutiny in a Justice Department probe into whether financial professionals helped Russian oligarchs evade sanctions may also weigh on the banking sector.

UBS’ state-backed acquisition of troubled rival Credit Suisse for 3 billion Swiss francs, or $3.2 billion, helped ease concerns about recent banking industry turmoil earlier this week.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing a continued slump in orders for transportation equipment led to an unexpected decrease in new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in the month of February.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders slid by 1.0 percent in February after plummeting by a revised 5.0 percent in January.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to increase by 0.6 percent compared to the 4.5 percent plunge that had been reported for the previous month.

Excluding the steep drop in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders were unchanged in February after rising by 0.4 percent in January. Ex-transportation orders were expected to inch up by 0.2 percent.

Stocks moved sharply higher in early trading on Thursday but gave back ground over the course of the session. The major averages pulled back well off their best levels but recovered going into the close to end the day in positive territory.

The major averages all closed higher on the day, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a standout gain. While the Nasdaq jumped 117.44 points or 1.0 percent to 11,787.40, the S&P 500 rose 11.75 points or 0.3 percent to 3,948.72 and the Dow crept up 76.14 points or 0.2 percent to 32,105.25.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.6 percent.

The major European markets have also shown significant moves to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has tumbled by 1.8 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both down by 2.3 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are plunging $2.49 to $67.47 a barrel after slumping $0.94 to $69.96 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after soaring $46.30 to $1,995.90 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up $4 to $1,999.90 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 130.10 yen versus the 130.85 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0748 compared to yesterday’s $1.0831.

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