After moving sharply higher over the two previous sessions, stocks may see further upside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by 0.3 percent.
Stocks may continue to benefit from optimism about an agreement on raising the U.S. debt ceiling following comments by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
While McCarthy told reporters on Thursday that a deal hasn’t been reached, the GOP leader said he sees a “path that we can come to an agreement.”
“I think we have a structure now and everybody’s working hard,” McCarthy said. “And I mean we’re working two or three times a day, then going back getting more numbers.”
He added, “I just believe where we were a week ago and where we are today is a much better place, because we’ve got the right people in the room discussing it in a very professional manner, with all the knowledge, all the background from all the different leaders.”
Early trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
Powell is due to participate in a Perspectives on Monetary Policy panel before the Thomas Laubach Research Conference later this morning, with traders likely to keep a close eye on his comments for clues about the outlook for interest rates.
Following the rally seen during Wednesday’s session, stocks showed another strong move to the upside during trading on Thursday. With the continued advance, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached their best closing levels in about nine months.
The major averages reached new highs for the session going into the close of trading. The Nasdaq surged 188.27 points or 1.5 percent to 12,688.83, the S&P 500 jumped 39.28 points or 0.9 percent to 4,198.05 and the Dow rose 115.14 points or 0.3 percent to 33,535.91.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 0.8 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $1.29 to $73.23 a barrel after slumping $0.95 to $71.94 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after tumbling $25.10 to $1,959.80 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $6.20 to $1,966 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 138.23 yen versus the 138.71 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0817 compared to yesterday’s $1.0770.
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