U.S. Stocks May Continue To Give Back Ground In Early Trading

Following the pullback seen late in the previous session, stocks may see some further downside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 53 points.

Traders may continue to cash in on recent strength in the markets, which has helped lift the Dow and the S&P 500 to new record highs.

Overall trading activity is likely to be subdued, however, as some traders look to get a head start on New Year’s Eve festivities.

With many overseas markets closed on the day, traders are also likely to stick to the sidelines amid a lack of major U.S. economic data.

Even if stocks continue to give back ground on the day, the major averages are poised to post strong gains for the year.

Going into today’s trading, the S&P 500 is up 27.2 percent for the year, while the Nasdaq and the Dow are up by 22.1 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively.

After seeing modest strength for much of the trading session, stocks came under pressure going into the close of trading on Thursday. The major averages pulled back well off their best levels of the day and into negative territory.

The major averages all finished the day moderately below the unchanged line. The Dow dipped 90.55 points or 0.3 percent to 36,398.08, the Nasdaq edged down 24.65 points or 0.2 percent to 15,471.56 and the S&P 500 slipped 14.33 points or 0.3 percent to 4,778.73.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Friday, with several major markets closed for New Year’s Eve. China’s Shanghai Composite Index climbed by 0.6 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid by 0.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the German markets were closed for New Year’s Eve, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both fell by 0.3 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are tumbling $1.42 to $75.57 a barrel after climbing $0.43 to $76.99 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after rising $8.30 to $1,814.10 an ounce an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are advancing $9.80 to $1,823.90 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 115.10 yen versus the 115.08 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1328 compared to yesterday’s $1.1325.

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