U.S. stock futures point to second day of gains on Wall Street
U.S. stock futures were pointing to a second day of gains on Friday, as investors continue to digest the Federal Reserve’s commentary on interest rates with key inflation data looming.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 118 points, or 0.3% to 34608.
Futures on the S&P 500
gained 14.75 points, or 0.3%, to 4511.
Futures on the Nasdaq 100
increased 61.25 points, or 0.4% to 14597.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 87 points, or 0.25%, to 34584, the S&P 500
increased 19 points, or 0.43%, to 4500, and the Nasdaq Composite
gained 8 points, or 0.06%, to 13897.
What’s driving markets
The advance for Thursday came after two consecutive declines, following a hawkish speech from Fed Gov. Lael Brainard and the release of the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which sets the stage for a likely $95 billion per month reduction in the central bank’s balance sheet.
With not much in the way of corporate or economic releases on Friday, and the CPI report due next week, the discussion on Fed policy will continue to dominate market sentiment.
The commentary from former New York Fed President Bill Dudley, that the Fed needs to “force” stocks lower, also is still being discussed.
Thomas Lee, the head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, says the Dudley argument doesn’t make sense.
“Inflation in the U.S. is due to varying impacts of supply-chain, commodity shocks and labor shortage,” he wrote. “Thus, how would causing a crash in stocks, which makes ‘rich people’ less rich, drive a slow down in inflationary pressures,” he asked. It would be the “bluntest of bluntest instruments” for the Fed to act that way, he added.
The first round of French presidential elections on Sunday are also impacting markets, as polls show a narrowing but commanding lead for French President Emmanuel Macron.
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