U.S. stock futures were pointing to more gains on Friday, with major indexes set to break with three straight weeks of losses, helped by some calm over prospects for rising interest rates and bargain hunting, notably among tech stocks.How are stock-index futures trading?
S&P 500 futures
rose 0.7% to 3,827
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
gained 178 points, or 0.6%, to 30,850
Nasdaq 100 futures
added 0.8% to 11,841
On Thursday, the Dow industrials
climbed 194.23 points, or 0.6%, to end near session highs at 30,677.36, after moving between gains and losses. The S&P 500
rose 1% to end at 3,795.73. The Nasdaq Composite
increased 179.11 points, or 1.6%, closing at 11,232.19.
What’s driving the markets? Major stock indexes are headed for weekly gains, which would break three-week losing streaks for all three. Behind part of the renewed vigor for stocks have been cooling bond yields, with that of the 10-year Treasury note
down on the week. Instead of getting rattled by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s inflation-fighting words, markets continue to price in “a recession stopping rate hikes in their tracks much sooner,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, told clients in a note. In his second day of testimony on Capital Hill, Powell said he doesn’t think a recession is inevitable, but that he does have an “unconditional” commitment to fight inflation. He has also said the Fed hopes to rein in higher prices without sparking an economic downturn. “The moves this week, could still turn out to be the result of a financial market genetically preprogrammed to buy dips in equity and bond prices, thanks to two decades of central bank largess. It could also be a bear market correction as the stampede for the exit door got overdone in the short term, leading to a short-squeeze,” said Halley. Read: Don’t trust the stock-market bounce until S&P 500 is back above 3,800: analysts The economic spotlight for Friday will be on final reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, part of the reason the Fed opted for a 75 basis point rate hike at its recent meeting, instead of 50 basis points. Read: Here’s the comment from Powell that could make it hard for the Fed to slow down the pace of interest-rate hikes That data is due at 10 a.m., along with new home sales for May. Investors will also hear from a pair of Fed speakers — St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, due to speak at 7:30 a.m. Eastern and San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly, at 4 p.m. Eastern.