U.S. Stocks May See Further Upside In Early Trading

After ending the previous session mostly higher, stocks may see further 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 139 points.

Stocks may continue to benefit from the upward momentum seen throughout most of the week, which has helped lift the Nasdaq and S&P 500 to new record highs.

While the Federal Reserve’s forecast for rate hikes in 2023 weighed on the markets last week, traders seem to be coming to terms with the fact that tighter monetary policy is not imminent.

The Fed is likely to begin tapering its asset purchase program in the not-too-distant future, but the program will continue to support the markets until that time.

A report from the Commerce Department showing the annual rate of core consumer price growth in May matched economist estimates may add to the sentiment.

The reading on inflation said to be preferred by the Fed showed the annual rate of core consumer price growth accelerated to 3.4 percent in May from 3.1 percent in April.

The Commerce Department also said personal income slumped by 2.0 percent in May after plunging by 13.1 percent in April. Economists had expected personal income to tumble by 2.5 percent.

The continued decrease in personal income in May primarily reflected a drop in government social benefits, as stimulus payments continued but at a lower level.

Meanwhile, the report showed personal spending was virtually unchanged in May after climbing by 0.9 percent in April. Personal spending was expected to rise by 0.4 percent.

Not long after the start of trading, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its revised reading on consumer sentiment in the month of June. The consumer sentiment index is expected to be upwardly revised to 86.5 from 86.4.

Following the lackluster performance seen on Wednesday, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. With the upward move on the day, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs.

The major averages finished the day off their best levels of the session but still firmly positive. The Dow jumped 322.58 points or 1 percent to 34,196.82, the Nasdaq advanced 97.98 points or 0.7 percent to 14,369.71 and the S&P 500 climbed 24.65 points or 0.6 percent to 4,266.49.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.7 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index surged up by 1.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both down by 0.1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are inching up $0.12 to $73.42 a barrel after rising $0.22 to $73.30 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after falling $6.70 to $1,776.70 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing $10.40 to $1,787.10 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 110.55 yen versus the 110.87 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1952 compared to yesterday’s $1.1932.

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