Friday June 29th


Dow set to jump more than 100 points, but is still headed for a weekly loss

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday, but were still headed for weekly losses as the underlying market sentiment was soured by anxiety over global trade frictions. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 101 points, indicating a gain of 119.95 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to strong gains at the open. Bank shares moved higher before the bell after announcing buybacks and dividend hikes following the Federal Reserve's annual stress test. Bank of America, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase all rose at least 1 percent before the bell. Wells Fargo surged 3.6 percent. Nike shares jumped 9.3 percent in the premarket after reporting quarterly earnings and revenue that beat expectations. The moves before the bell come after the Dow rose nearly 100 points on Thursday, led by a rise in banks and technology stocks. Despite the gains before the bell, however, the major indexes were on track to close lower for the week as initial U.S. and Chinese tariffs are due to take effect next week. President Donald Trump’s administration is set to activate tariffs on Chinese goods worth around $34 billion on July 6, which is then widely expected to trigger a tit-for-tat response from Beijing. The ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China has sent market volatility higher this week, with the Cboe volatility index (VIX), surging 14 percent. "Trade continues to be the biggest worry for the market," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones. "People are really concerned about how much trade could slow down the U.S. economy." Axios reported on Friday, citing sources, that Trump has repeatedly told top White House officials that he wants the U.S. to withdraw from the World Trade Organization. The Personal Consumption Expenditures index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, rose 0.2% as did the core rate that strips out food and energy. The rate of inflation over the past 12 months rose to 2.3%, the fastest pace since March 2012. Asian stocks closed with gains on the last trading day of the quarter, with regional markets turning higher through the session as China recovered from a recent slump amid worries over trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. Japanese stocks pared earlier declines, with the Nikkei 225 closing up 0.15 percent, or 34.12 points, at 22,304.51. In South Korea, the Kospi moved back into positive territory, finishing higher by 0.51 percent at 2,326.13. China markets, meanwhile, recovered slightly after coming under pressure in recent sessions. The Shanghai composite advanced 2.2 percent to close at 2,848.31 after four straight days of losses and the blue-chip CSI 300 index rose 2.57 percent. The smaller Shenzhen composite ended the session up 3.26 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 1.54 percent by 3:06 p.m. Brent crude rose on Friday as U.S. sanctions against Iran threatened to remove a substantial volume of oil from world markets at a time of rising global demand. Brent crude jumped $1.49 to a session high of $79.34 a barrel before easing back. The contract was up 88 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $78.73 by 8:39 a.m. ET (1239 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 1 cent at $73.43. On Thursday, the contract hit its highest since November 2014 at $74.03 per barrel. Gold prices recovered on Friday from six-month lows as speculators took profits amid a weaker dollar, but some analysts warned that more losses were likely. Spot gold added 0.29 percent to $1,251.51 an ounce. On Thursday, it touched $1,245.32, its lowest since Dec. 13, 2017. U.S. gold futures for August delivery edged up 0.16 percent at $1,253.