Stock futures trade higher, oil adds to gains day after Kabul attack

FAN Editor

U.S. equity futures appeared poised for a rebound following Thursday’s decline as chaos deepened in Afghanistan following two explosions outside the airport in Kabul.

The major futures indexes suggested a gain of 0.2% for the Dow, a rise of 0.2% for the S&P 500 and an increase of 0.4% for the Nasdaq.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude picked up 77 cents to $68.19 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used as the price basis for international oils, added 82 cents to $71.89.

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Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the desperate crowds trying to flee Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. President Biden said the latest bloodshed would not drive the U.S. out of Afghanistan earlier than scheduled, and that he had instructed the U.S. military to develop plans to strike an affiliate of the Islamic State militant group, which claimed responsibility.

In Thursday’s Wall Street session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 192 points or 0.54%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.58% and 0.64%, respectively. Both the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite index closed at all-time highs on Wednesday. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35213.12 -192.38 -0.54%
SP500 S&P 500 4470 -26.19 -0.58%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14945.807229 -96.05 -0.64%

Asian stock markets were mixed Friday as investors awaited more guidance on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s easing plans.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.3%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was 0.6% higher and China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 0.4%.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at the central bank’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later Friday. Any indicators when the bank will start scaling back on asset purchases will be watched.

Several Fed officials have suggested that the easing will take place sooner rather than later, although a firm timeline has not been set.

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The economic docket includes the Commerce Department’s report on personal income and spending numbers for July. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv anticipate spending to rise 0.3% month-over-month, down from June’s 1% pop. Personal income, meantime, is expected to inch up 0.2% in July, building on June’s 0.1% increase. 

Core personal consumption expenditures, which remove volatile food and energy prices, are anticipated to rise 0.3% for the month, slightly lagging June’s 0.4% rise. The Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, the year-over-year change in core PCE, is expected to rise to rise slightly to 3.6%. That would mark the highest reading in more than 30 years.

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The University of Michigan’s final index of consumer sentiment for August is expected to edge higher to 70.7 from the preliminary reading of 70.2 two weeks ago, which would still leave it down sharply from July’s final reading of 81.2 because of Delta variant worries.

Investors are set for a new and busy week ahead full of economic releases, including U.S. jobs data for August.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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