Futures Pointing To Modestly Lower Open On Wall Street

Following the lackluster performance seen over the past few sessions, stocks may move to the downside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 32 points.

Profit taking may contribute to initial weakness on Wall Street after the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 rose to new record closing highs in the previous session.

Recent consolidation efforts have not gained much traction, however, as traders seem wary of missing out on further upside.

The markets have largely maintained their upward momentum amid optimism about more fiscal stimulus and an easing of the coronavirus crisis.

An advance by shares of Disney (DIS) may also help offset any early selling pressure, with the entertainment giant climbing by 1.4 percent in pre-market trading.

Disney released its fiscal first quarter results after the close of trading on Thursday, reporting an unexpected profit on strong subscriber growth for its Disney+ streaming service.

Shortly after the start of trading, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its preliminary report on consumer sentiment in the month of February. The consumer sentiment index is expected to inch up to 80.8 in February from 79.0 in January.

Nonetheless, overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, as some traders may look to get a head start on the long Presidents’ Day weekend.

After showing a lack of direction for two straight days, stocks turned in another relatively lackluster performance during trading on Thursday. Despite the choppy trading, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs.

The Dow edged down 7.10 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 31,430.70, while the broader Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed in positive territory. The Nasdaq climbed 53.24 points or 0.4 percent to 14,025.77 and the S&P 500 rose 6.50 points or 0.2 percent to 3,916.38.

In overseas trading, Japanese and Australian stocks moved to the downside on Friday, with most of the other markets in the Asia-Pacific region closed for holidays. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell by 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index is down by 0.3 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.3 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.25 to $57.99 a barrel after falling $0.44 to $58.24 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after slumping $15.90 to $1,826.80 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are sliding $13.60 to $1,813.20 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 105.09 yen versus the 104.75 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.2086 compared to yesterday’s $1.2130.

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