U.S. stock-index futures on Friday were trading higher after a report on June retail sales came in stronger than expected, with stocks set to cap a week featuring assurances by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that surging inflation was a temporary phenomenon.
How are stock benchmarks trading?
S&P 500 index futures
were up 12.50 points at 4,364.50, a gain of 0.3%.
On Thursday, the Dow
rose 53.79 points or 0.15% today to 34,987.02, the S&P 500
fell 14.27 points, or 0.33%, to 4,360.03, while the Nasdaq Composite Index
closed 101.82 points lower, or 0.70%, at 14,543.13.
For the week, the Dow is currently up 0.3%, marking its fourth straight gain; the S&P 500 is headed for a weekly decline of 0.2%, while the Nasdaq is looking at a weekly decline of 1.1%, the first such decline in four weeks for both indexes. The small-capitalization Russell 2000 index
was on track for a 4% drop for the week, which would mark its third straight loss.
What’s driving the market?
U.S. stock indexes are heading mostly toward small losses for the week after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that inflation would rise for a few months before slowing.
Investors have been digesting what has been mostly upbeat second-quarter corporate earnings results but the data has been mixed.
June retail sales data may have done little to quell the escalating concerns around inflation. Sales at U.S. retailers increased 0.6% last month, compared with a forecast for a 0.4% decline. Excluding autos, retail sales advanced 1.3%, almost three times as much as Wall Street expected.
The report illustrates Americans are paying more for a variety of goods and services, even as the Federal Reserve contends it is just a temporary phenomenon.
Meanwhile, the spread of the more transmissible delta coronavirus variant has fueled jitters on Wall Street but the path of least resistance continues to be higher for stocks and lower for Treasury yields, with the 10-year benchmark
briefly slipping below 1.30% on Thursday. The slide in yields suggests that fixed-income investors harbor some doubts about economic growth in the wake of the pandemic or also share Powell’s view that inflation will be short-lived.
Separately, the U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday will join Pacific Rim leaders, including China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin in a virtual meeting to develop strategies to help economies rebound from the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic.
And in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged rapid help for disastrous flooding that has killed more than 90 and left hundreds missing in the western part of the country, as persistent rains have left rivers and reservoirs overflowing.
Which companies are in focus?
U.S.-listed Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Global
tumbled in premarket trade after state security and police officials were sent to the company’s offices Friday as part of a cybersecurity investigation, AP reported.
a biotechnology company catapulted to fame after it produced a highly effective COVID-19 vaccine, is set to join the S&P 500 index, replacing Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.