Following the pullback seen in the previous session, stocks are likely to move back to the upside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 212 points.
The futures remained firmly positive even after the Labor Department released a report showing U.S. consumer prices surged at the fastest annual rate of in nearly 40 years in November.
The report showed the annual rate of growth in consumer prices accelerated to 6.8 percent in November from 6.2 percent in October, reflecting the biggest jump since June of 1982.
Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, were up by 4.9 percent compared to the same month a year ago, showing the biggest annual increase since June of 1991.
The faster annual growth came as consumer prices climbed by 0.8 percent in November following a 0.9 percent advance in October. Economists had expected consumer prices to increase by 0.7 percent.
Core consumer prices rose by 0.5 percent in November after climbing by 0.6 percent in October. The increase in core prices matched economist estimates.
While the elevated rate of inflation may lead the Federal Reserve to accelerate the pace of tapering its asset purchases next week, the jump in prices should not come as a shock to investors.
Traders may instead focus on continued optimism about the economic outlook amid indications the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has milder symptoms and will not derail the global recovery.
Shortly after the start of trading, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its preliminary reading on consumer sentiment in the month of December. The consumer sentiment index is expected to edge down to 67.1 in December from 67.4 in November.
Stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading session on Thursday, giving back ground after closing higher for three straight days. The Nasdaq showed a significant move to the downside, while the Dow ended the day nearly flat.
The Nasdaq tumbled 269.62 points or 1.7 percent to 15,517.37 and the S&P 500 slid 33.76 points or 0.7 percent to 4,667.45. Meanwhile, the Dow edged down by just 0.06 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 35,754.69.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index dipped by 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have shown modest moves to the upside. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has inched up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.2 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $1.21 to $72.15 a barrel after tumbling $1.42 to $70.94 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after falling $8.80 to $1,776.70 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $3.30 to $1,780 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 113.55 yen versus the 113.49 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.3231 compared to yesterday’s $1.1293.
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