Friday January 17th


Stock futures rise as Wall Street gets set to wrap up a record-setting week

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher Friday as investors digest growth data out of China and wrap up a week in which equities reached record highs. At around 7 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 81 points, indicating a gain of 70 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also rose. China’s economy grew by 6.1% in 2019, data released overnight showed. That matched economist expectations. However, that was the slowest growth rate for the Chinese economy since 1990 and a decline from 2018′s 6.6% expansion. U.S. stocks rose to fresh highs on Thursday amid stronger-than-expected results from Morgan Stanley. Meanwhile, on the tech front, Microsoft rose to record levels and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, reached a market cap of $1 trillion for the first time. Thursday’s gains put the major averages on track to post strong weekly gains. The S&P 500 and Dow are up more than 1.5% entering Friday’s session while the Nasdaq is up nearly 2%. A solid start to the corporate earnings season along with strong economic data has lifted market sentiment this week. More than 7% of the S&P 500 has reported quarterly results thus far, FactSet data shows. Of those companies, 74% of companies gave posted better-than-expected earnings. Schlumberger reported Friday quarterly earnings that beat analyst expectations, sending the stock up more than 2% in the premarket. CSX’s earnings also beat expectations, but the stock slid more than 3% before the bell. Investors will be monitoring new housing starts and building permits due in the U.S. at 8:30 a.m. Industrial production figures are set to be published at 9:15 a.m. ET and consumer sentiment as well as the latest JOLTS report are due at 10 a.m. ET. Markets in Asia rose on Friday, as the release of China’s gross domestic product (GDP) numbers showed growth was in line with analyst expectations. Chinese markets rose initially following the release of those numbers, but fell again by the close. The Shanghai composite traded flat to close at 3,075.50, while the Shenzhen composite fell 0.29% to 1,806.28. The Shenzhen component inched down 0.12% to 10,954.39. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index inched down in its final hour of trade. Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped to a 15-month high earlier in the session, last rising 0.45% to close at 24,041.26. The Topix advanced 0.39% to 1,735.44. South Korea’s Kospi also rose to a 15-month high earlier in Friday’s session, last edging up 0.11% to close at 2,250.57. Oil prices edged higher on Friday but were set to end the week broadly steady as sluggish economic growth in China, the world’s biggest crude importer, raised concerns about fuel demand and countered optimism from the signing of a China-U.S. trade deal. Brent crude futures were up 30 cents at $64.92. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose 22 cents to $58.74. Gold prices edged higher on Friday, but was still on track to post its biggest weekly decline in about two months as solid Chinese data and a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal improved risk appetite. Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,556.56 per ounce, but was heading for a weekly drop of about 0.4% - its biggest since the week ended Nov. 8. U.S. gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,556.70.