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

After ending the previous session mostly higher, stocks may see some further upside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 91 points.

The markets may benefit from continued optimism that lawmakers in Washington will eventually reach an agreement on a new stimulus bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has recently suggested that negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are making progress, although it seems unlikely a bill will be passed before the elections early next month.

During the final presidential debate Thursday night, President Donald Trump accused Pelosi of stalling a new relief package until after the elections for political purposes.

Trump also claimed that he could get reluctant Senate Republicans to support a broader stimulus bill if an agreement is finally reached.

Positive sentiment may also be generated in reaction to news that the FDA has approved Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir, also known as Veklury, for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization.

On the other hand, a notable drop by shares of Intel (INTC) may weigh on the tech sector, with the semiconductor giant falling sharply in pre-market trading after reporting third quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates but on weaker than expected revenues for its Data Center Group.

Credit card giant American Express (AXP) is also likely to come under pressure after reporting third quarter earnings that missed expectations.

Stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Thursday but managed to end the day mostly higher. After bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line in morning trading, the major averages largely remained positive throughout the afternoon.

The major averages all closed higher, although the Nasdaq posted a relatively modest gain, edging up 21.31 points or 0.2 percent to 11,506.01. The Dow climbed 152.84 points or 0.5 percent to 28,363.66 and the S&P 500 rose 17.93 points or 0.5 percent to 3,453.49.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index crept up by 0.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slumped by 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all shown strong moves to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has jumped by 1.2 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 1.6 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are inching up $0.17 to $40.81 a barrel after climbing $0.61 to $40.64 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after plunging $24.90 to $1,904.60 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are jumping $10.90 to $1,915.50 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 104.72 yen versus the 104.86 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1850 compared to yesterday’s $1.1818.

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