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

After moving notably higher over the course of the previous session, 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 S&P 500 futures up by 0.3 percent.

Traders may continue to look to pick up stocks at relatively reduced levels following recent weakness, as the gains posted by the Nasdaq and S&P 500 on Thursday came after they hit their lowest intraday levels in over a month.

A pullback by treasury yields may also generate some buying interest, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note giving back ground after jumping to a three-month closing high above 4.0 percent.

Early trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as traders await the release of the Institute for Supply Management’s report on U.S. service sector activity in the month of February.

The report, which is due to be released shortly after the start of trading, is expected to show the ISM’s services PMI edged down to 54.5 in February from 55.2 in January, although a reading above 50 would still indicate growth in the sector.

Traders may also be reluctant to make significant moves ahead of some key events next week, including congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and the release of the monthly jobs report.

After moving in opposite directions early in the session, the major U.S. stocks indexes all moved notably higher over the course of the trading day on Thursday.

The Dow outperformed its counterparts throughout the session and closed up 341.73 points or 1.1 percent at 33,003.57, adding to the slight uptick seen in Wednesday’s session.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 83.50 points or 0.7 percent to 11,462.98, while the S&P 500 advanced 29.96 points or 0.8 percent to 3,981.35.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index surged by 1.6 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.5 percent.

Most European stocks have also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index is up by 1.0 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.6 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has bucked the uptrend and is down by 0.1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.57 to $77.59 a barrel after climbing $0.47 to $78.16 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after slipping $4.90 to $1,840.50 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $12.60 to $1,853.10 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 136.07 yen versus the 136.77 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0617 compared to yesterday’s $1.0597.

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