Following the pullback seen over the three previous sessions, stocks may 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 132 points.
Early buying interest may be generated in reaction to a report from the Commerce Department showing much stronger than expected U.S. retail sales growth in the month of September.
The Commerce Department said retail sales spiked by 1.9 percent in September after rising by 0.6 percent in August. Economists had expected retail sales to climb by 0.7 percent.
Excluding an increase in sales by motor vehicles and parts dealers, retail sales still surged up by 1.5 percent in September after climbing by a downwardly revised 0.5 percent in August.
Ex-auto sales were expected to rise by 0.5 percent compared to the 0.7 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
Traders may also react positively to the latest news regarding negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over a new stimulus bill.
Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill noted on the Twitter that the Speaker and the Secretary spoke for over an hour on Thursday.
Hammill said Pelosi asked Mnuchin about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments suggesting he would not being willing to put a comprehensive package on the Senate floor.
“The Secretary indicated that the President would weigh in with Leader McConnell should an agreement be reached,” Hammill tweeted.
Adding to the positive sentiment, Pfizer (PFE) Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said the drug giant will apply for emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with BioNTech (BNTX) soon after the safety milestone is achieved in the third week of November.
“All the data contained in our U.S. application would be reviewed not only by the FDA’s own scientists but also by an external panel of independent experts at a publicly held meeting convened by the agency,” Bourla said in an open letter.
The Dow may also benefit from an advance by shares of Boeing (BA), which are moving higher in pre-market trading after Europe’s top aviation regulator told Bloomberg he’s satisfied changes made to the aerospace giant’s 737 Max have made the aircraft safe to fly.
Just before the open, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its report on industrial production in the month of September. Industrial production is expected to increase by 0.5 percent in September after rising by 0.4 percent in August.
The University of Michigan is due to release its preliminary report on consumer sentiment in the month of October shortly after the start of trading. The consumer sentiment index is expected to inch up to 80.5 in October after jumping to 80.4 in September.
The Commerce Department is also scheduled to release its report on business inventories in the month of August. Business inventories are expected to rise by 0.4 percent.
After moving sharply lower in early trading, stocks showed a significant recovery attempt over the course of the session on Thursday. The major averages climbed well off their worst levels of the day but still ended the day in negative territory.
While the Dow plunged by more than 330 points in early trading, the blue chip index ended the day down just 19.80 points or 0.1 percent to 28,494.20. The Nasdaq fell 54.86 points or 0.5 percent to 11,713.87 and the S&P 500 dipped 5.33 points or 0.2 percent to 3,483.34.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all shown strong moves to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has jumped by 1.7 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.4 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 1.1 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.29 to $40.67 a barrel after edging down $0.08 to $40.96 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after inching up $1.60 to $1,908.90 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $4.30 to $1,913.20 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 105.38 yen versus the 105.45 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1733 compared to yesterday’s $1.1708.
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