U.S. stock index futures pointed to a stronger start for Wall Street on Friday, as investors looked ahead to the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey and its closely watched gauge of inflation expectations. How are stock-index futures trading?
S&P 500 futures
rose 19 points, or 0.5%, to 4,228.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
gained 140 points, or 0.4%, to 33,444.
gained 75 points, or 0.6%, to 13387
On Thursday, stocks finished mixed with the Nasdaq Composite
dropping 0.6% to 12,779.91, a day after it officially exited a bear market. The S&P 500 index
slipped 0.1% to 4,207.27 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average
gained 0.1% to finish at 33,336.67.
What’s driving markets? After a week that has delivered optimistic news on both consumer price inflation and producer prices, investors are waiting for the next datapoints — July import prices at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by the University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index for August at 10 a.m. The UMich servey also includes 5-year inflation expectations, data that has been cited by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as an important indicator in shaping monetary policy. Saxo Bank analysts expect a modest improvement in consumer sentiment, thanks to easing gasoline prices, which on Thursday fell below $4 a gallon for the first time in months. San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly said it was too soon to “declare victory” over inflation in the U.S. in an interview with the Financial Times that published Thursday. But Daly said a 50 basis point interest rate rise remains her baseline case for the next Fed meeting in September. She is not a voter on the Federal Open Market Committee this year. “One factor clearly plays against the stocks right now: perhaps an excessive positive pricing following the CPI data released this week,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, in a note to clients. “Activity on fed funds futures assess a 65% probability for a 50bp rate increase in September, meaning that there is now plenty of room for the latest Fed pricing to reverse, without, however, the need of excessively bad news. A simple rebound in energy prices could easily bring the Fed hawks back in the market and change the mood,” she said. U.S. crude oil prices
up 6.3% this week, got a lift from Thursday’s International Energy Agency report that lifted its demand forecast owing to summer heat waves in Europe and tight natural-gas supplies. Crude was last up 0.3% to $94.68 a barrel on Friday. For now, stocks are set for another week of gains. Up 1.9% so far this week, the S&P 500 index is poised for its fourth straight weekly gain and the longest winning st …