Stocks May Add To Yesterday's Gains In Early Trading - US Commentary

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - Stocks may move to the upside in early trading on Friday, adding to ...

Alliance News 14 September, 2018 | 1:56PM
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WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - Stocks may move to the upside in early trading on Friday, adding to the gains posted in the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 28 points.

Continued optimism about trade may contribute to strength on Wall Street after reports earlier this week of another round of talks between the US and China.

The markets may also benefit from tame inflation data, with a report from the Labor Department showing a much bigger than expected drop in import prices in the month of August.

The Labor Department said import prices fell by 0.6% in August after edging down by a revised 0.1% in July.

Economists had expected import prices to dip by 0.2% compared to the unchanged reading originally reported for the previous month.

The report also said export prices slipped by 0.1% in August after falling by 0.5% in July. Export prices had been expected to come in unchanged.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Commerce Department showed retail sales increased by much less than expected in August.

The Commerce Department said retail sales inched up by 0.1% in August after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.7% in July.

Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.4% compared to the 0.5% increase originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding the decrease in auto sales, retail sales rose by 0.3% in August after jumping by an upwardly revised 0.9% in July.

Ex-auto sales had been expected to climb by 0.5% compared to the 0.6% growth originally reported for the previous month.

Shortly before the start of trading, The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its report on industrial production in the month of August. Production is expected to rise by 0.3% in August after inching up by 0.1% in July.

The Commerce Department is also due to release its report on business inventories in the month of July not long after the open. Economists expect business inventories to climb by 0.6%.

Additionally, the University of Michigan is also scheduled to release its preliminary report on consumer sentiment in the month of September. The continuer sentiment index is expected to inch up to 96.6 in September from 96.2 in August.

Following the lackluster performance seen on Wednesday, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. The major averages all climbed into positive territory after ending Wednesday's trading mixed.

The Dow climbed 147.07 points or 0.6% to 26,145.99, the Nasdaq advanced 59.48 points or 0.8% to 8,013.71 and the S&P 500 rose 15.26 points or 0.5% to 2,904.18.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index surged up by 1.2%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped by 1%.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the UK's FTSE 100 Index has edged up by 0.2%, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.3%.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising USD0.23 to USD68.82 a barrel after plunging USD1.78 to USD68.59 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after slipping USD2.70 to USD1,208.20 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up USD0.10 to USD1,208.30 an ounce.

On the currency front, the US dollar is trading at 112.01 yen compared to the 111.92 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at USD1.1680 compared to yesterday's USD1.1690.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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