Stocks may move to the upside in early trading on Wednesday, extending the notable advance seen over the two previous sessions. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 65 points.
After the tech-heavy Nasdaq reached a new record high yesterday, traders may be looking for the S&P 500 to follow suit this morning.
The S&P 500 ended Tuesday’s trading just a little more than 10 points or 0.3 percent below the record intraday high set last week.
Meanwhile, the Dow is further off its record highs after underperforming last week, although the blue chip index has bounced well off the more than two-month closing low set last Friday.
Easing concerns about the outlook for monetary policy contributed to the significant rebound by stocks early this week.
While the Federal Reserve’s latest projections call for two interest rate hikes in 2023, Fed Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers on Tuesday that the central bank would not raise rates “preemptively” based on the “fear” of inflation.
Caution remains, but the Fed’s asset purchase program is expected to continue to support the stock markets in the near term.
Shortly after the start of trading, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on new home sales in the month of May.
Economists expect new home sales to climb by 0.8 percent to an annual rate of 870,000 in May after plunging by 5.9 percent to a rate of 863,000 in April.
After showing a lack of direction early in the session, stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading day on Tuesday. With the upward move on the day, the tech-heavy Nasdaq reached a new record closing high.
The major averages pulled back off their highs going into the close but remained in positive territory. The Dow rose 68.61 points or 0.2 percent to 33,945.58, the Nasdaq advanced 111.79 points or 0.8 percent to 14,253.27 and the S&P 500 climbed 21.65 points or 0.5 percent to 4,284.44.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index closed just below the unchanged line while Hong Kong’s hang Seng Index jumped by 1.8 percent.
The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.4 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 0.3 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.72 to $73.57 a barrel after slipping $0.27 to $72.85 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,781.50, up $4.10 compared to the previous session’s close of $1,777.40. On Tuesday, gold fell $5.50.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 110.83 yen compared to the 110.65 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1947 compared to yesterday’s $1.1940.
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