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Futures Pointing To Modestly Lower Open On Wall Street

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December 01 2023 03:59AM

The major U.S. index futures are currently pointing to a modestly lower open on Friday, with stocks likely to give back ground after the Dow jumped to its highest closing level in well over a year on Thursday.

Traders may look to cash in on yesterday’s gains, which also saw the S&P 500 reach its best closing level in four months.

Overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as traders await remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Later this morning, Powell is scheduled to participate in a fireside chat with Spelman College President Helene Gayle.

Powell and Fed Governor Lisa D. Cook are also due to participate in a roundtable discussion at Spelman College later in the day.

Traders will be looking to Powell’s comments for additional clues about the outlook for interest rates amid optimism the Fed is done raising rates.

After ending Wednesday’s session narrowly mixed, the major U.S. stock indexes once again moved in opposite directions during trading on Thursday. While the Dow moved sharply higher to reach its best closing level in well over a year, the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished the day in the red.

The Dow jumped 520.47 points or 1.5 percent to 35,950.89 and the S&P 500 rose 17.22 points or 0.4 percent to a four-month closing high of 4,567.80.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq climbed well off its worst levels of the day but still closed down 32.27 points or 0.2 percent to 14,226.22.

The surge by the Dow was due in large part to a spike by shares of Salesforce (CRM), with the cloud software company soaring by 9.4 percent.

Salesforce skyrocketed after the company reported better than expected fiscal third quarter earnings and provided upbeat guidance.

Meanwhile, the decrease by the Nasdaq came amid a rebound by treasury yields, as the yield on the benchmark ten-year note bounced off its lowest levels in over two months.

The increase in treasury yields came even though the Commerce Department released a report showing consumer price growth in the U.S. slowed in line with economist estimates in the month of October.

The report said the annual rate of consumer price growth decelerated to 3.0 percent in October from 3.4 percent in September. The slowdown matched expectations.

Core consumer price growth also slowed in line with estimates, slipping to 3.5 percent in October from 3.7 percent in September. Core consumer prices exclude food and energy prices.

The inflation readings, which are said to be preferred by the Federal Reserve, were included in the Commerce Department’s report on personal income and spending during the month.

Transportation stocks showed a significant move to the upside on the day, with the Dow Jones Transportation Average climbing by 1.4 percent.

Considerable strength was also visible among healthcare stocks, as reflected by the 1.2 percent gain posted by the Dow Jones U.S. Health Care Index.

Steel, banking and pharmaceutical stocks also saw notable strength, while tobacco and semiconductor stocks moved to the downside.