Stock-index futures indicate Wall Street will attempt to push further into record territory Friday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in two days of congressional testimony bolstered investor expectations for a rate cut at the end of the month.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMU19, +0.28% rose 74 points, or 0.3%, to 27,151, while S&P 500 futures ESU19, +0.20% gained 6.1 points, or 0.2%, to 3,010. Nasdaq-100 NQU19, +0.21% were 18 points higher at 7,936.75, a gain of 0.2%.
The Dow DJIA, +0.85% on Thursday rose 227.88 points, or 0.8%, to 27,088.08, marking its first close above 27,000. The S&P 500 SPX, +0.23% also pushed back into record territory, advancing 6.84 points, or 0.2%, to end at 2,999.91. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.08% which scored a record close on Wednesday, pulled back, ending 6.49 points lower Thursday at 8,196.04, a loss of 0.1%.
Powell, in Thursday testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, said the U.S. economy is in a “very good place” but had only partly recovered from a “confidence shock” it suffered in May. Powell’s comments on Thursday, and his appearance before a House panel on Wednesday, were seen affirming expectations the Fed will move at its July 30-31 meeting to cut its fed-funds rate by at least a quarter point and to potentially deliver further cuts before year-end.
Powell’s “downbeat tone when reflecting on the economic outlook and inflation combined with his complete lack of desire to correct market expectations, despite a cut being 100% priced in this month, gave investors exactly what they wanted,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.
Trade data from China, meanwhile, showed the country’s exports fell last month as external demand softened, while imports showed a more substantial drop. News reports also noted a widening of China’s trade surplus with the U.S. to $29.92 billion from $26.9 billion in May.
Factory output across the eurozone rose sharply in May, which economists said may be a sign the region’s manufacturing sector is stabilizing after a long slowdown.
The U.S. economic calendar features the June producer-price index at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch are looking for a 0.1% drop in wholesale prices following a 0.1% rise in May.
Earnings season gets under way in earnest next week, with a slew of big banks set to kick off the festivities.
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