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Post: Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures rise as investors await consumer-sentiment report

U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday, as investors looked ahead to the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey and its closely watched gauge of inflation expectations.

How are stocks trading?
  • S&P 500

    rose 19 points, or 0.5%, to 4,227.

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average

    gained 129 points, or 0.4%, to 33,475.

  • Nasdaq Composite

    gained 75 points, or 0.6%, to 12,854.

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 data points — particularly the University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index for August — at 10 a.m.

The UMich survey 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 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 for 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.

For now, stocks are set for another week of gains. Up 2% so far this week, the S&P 500 index is poised for its fourth straight weekly gain and the longest winning streak since the week ended Nov. 27, 2020, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

The Nasdaq was set for a fourth straight weekly win, up 1.5% for the week so far, its longest winning stream since the week ended Nov. 5, 2021.

In other economic news, import and export pricing data showed that U.S. non-fuel import prices rose more than 4% on a year-over-year basis in July.

Stocks in focus
Other markets
  • West Texas Intermediate crude prices CL.1 CLU22 , up 4.3% this week, wavered between gains and losses despite 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 down 1.6% to $92.82 a barrel on Friday.

  • Gold was essentially flat, but holding above the $1,800 per ounce level.

  • The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
    a gauge of the dollar’s strength against a basket of rivals, was up 0.5%.

  • The Stoxx Europe 600

    was up 0.1%, while the Nikkei 225

    was up 2.6%. The Hang Seng index

    was up 0.5% in Hong Kong, while the Korean KOSPI index

    was up 0.2%. China’s Shenzhen A Share index

    was down 0.5%.

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