3 weeks ago
Stock Market

Stocks - Dow Set For Triple-Digit Gain Amid Signs of Economic Bottom

Investing.com - U.S. stock markets are poised to open higher Friday, breaking its longest losing streak of the year so

Investing.com - U.S. stock markets are poised to open higher Friday, breaking its longest losing streak of the year so far thanks to signs that the Chinese and European economies may be bottoming out.

The blue-chip Dow futures gained 174 points, or 0.67%, to 26,086.5 points by 6:50 AM ET (11:50 GMT), the S&P 500 futures rose 17 points, or 0.62%, to 2,801.88 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures traded up 54 points, or 0.75%, to 7,156.12 points.

Business surveys from China and Europe showed that the economic situation there wasn’t quite as bad as initial readings last week had suggested – even though both the Caixin and the IHS Markit Purchasing Managers Index, for China and euro zone, respectively, were below the 50 level that separates growth from contraction. Stronger-than-expected retail sales and jobless data from Germany also helped to lift spirits.

In company news, investors are likely to focus on Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), which fell 4.4% in pre-market trading Friday after it said it closed most of its stores and moved to an online sales model, a move aimed at stripping out enough costs to let it meet Elon Musk’s target of selling its mass-market Model 3 for only $35,000.

AT&T (NYSE:T) will also grab attention amid news that two of the firm’s longtime executives are stepping down. According to The Wall Street Journal, Richard Plepler, the chairman and chief executive of HBO, sent a memo to staff announcing his resignation, while David Levy, president of Turner - the parent of cable channels CNN, TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network - will also step down as early as Friday.

On the economic front, ISM manufacturing data for February will take the spotlight at 10:00 AM ET (15:00 GMT) on Friday, overshadowing the delayed release of personal income and spending, which includes the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation measure, core personal consumption expenditures (PCE), or the final revision of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment for February.

Elsewhere, European indices registered gains across the board. Germany’s Dax, up 1%, led the pack as the country’s manufacturing activity, unemployment change and retail sales all topped expectations.

Earlier, Asian shares ended sharply higher as data eased economic fears. China’s Shanghai Composite led gains as index publisher MSCI announced it would raise the weight of Chinese mainland shares in its global benchmarks.

Outside of equities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rival currencies, edged forward 0.08% to 96.12 by 6:52 AM ET (11:52 GMT), while the yield on the 10-year Treasury advanced 1.9 basis points to 2.73%.

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.42% at $1,310.55 a troy ounce, while crude oil traded up 0.33% to $57.41 a barrel.