Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose slightly Friday as investors looked to keep this month’s gains going. Dow futures ticked higher by 117 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 futures advanced 0.2%, while Nasdaq 100 futures ticked fractionally lower. Gap shares leapt 17% after the company posted better-than-expected results for the third quarter. Electric vehicle charging network ChargePoint slid 25% after announcing a shake-up in its C-suite and cutting its forecast for third-quarter revenue. All three averages are on pace for weekly gains — and that would mark their third straight positive week. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are up more than 2% through Thursday’s close, while the Dow is on pace for a 1.9% rise. Those gains were sparked by tame U.S. inflation data that gave hope to investors that the worst of inflation — as well as the Federal Reserve’s tough stance on rate policy — may be in the rearview mirror. “It’s hard sometimes in the moment to recognize when something has significantly changed, [but] I think there was a tremor on Tuesday, and things have changed,” EMJ Capital founder and president Eric Jackson said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Thursday. “The Fed has done a Punxsutawney Powell, and gone back into hibernation for I think the next six years.” The question is whether traders will be able to maintain that optimism for the remainder of the month. In November, the S&P 500 is up 7.5%, while the Dow has a 5.7% gain. The Nasdaq has leapt 9.8%. U.S. Treasury yields continued to slip Friday as investors bet that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate-hiking campaign could finally be over. The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked lower by 3 basis points to 4.14%. The 2-year Treasury yield was last trading at 4.82%, 2 basis points lower. Hong Kong stocks led declines in Asia-Pacific on Friday, as shares of Alibaba plunged in early trading, while most markets cooled off from a mid-week rally sparked by hopes of easing U.S. inflation. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 2.12% in the final hour of trading, the tech-focused Hang Seng Tech index dropped 1.7% — dragged lower by heavyweight Alibaba which fell close to 10%. Still, the HSI was set to end the week with gains of about 1.5%. The Chinese e-commerce giant said it would not proceed with the full spinoff of its cloud group due to U.S. chip export restrictions. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.48% higher at 33,585.20. The Topix added 0.95% to close at 2,391.05, and recorded weekly gains of 2.33%. In South Korea, the Kospi ended 0.74% lower at 2,469.85, closing out the week with gains of 2.5%. The Kosdaq fell 1.50% to 799.06, with a gain of 1.29% for the week. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ended 0.13% lower at 7,049.40. It clocked a 1% rise for the week. Mainland China’s CSI 300 index fell 0.12% to close at 3,568.07, and was the only major Asia market that registered a weekly fall, lower by about 0.6%. Oil prices edged higher on Friday, a day after sinking 5% to a four month-low on growing worries about burgeoning non-OPEC supply and cooling demand. Brent futures rose 80 cents, or about 1%, to $78.22 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) was at $73.66, up 76 cents, also roughly 1%. Both benchmarks have lost around a sixth of their value over the last four weeks, and prices are on track for their fourth straight week of losses. Gold prices climbed to a two-week high on Friday and were set to mark their first weekly rise in three, as market expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve is done hiking rates weighed on the dollar and Treasury yields. Spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,991.48 per ounce, as of 1059 GMT. Prices were up about 2.8% so far this week. U.S. gold futures were up 0.4% to $1,994.70. Overall investors are positive on gold because they are betting against further U.S. interest rate hikes and are pricing in a dovish Fed in 2024, said Carlo Alberto De Casa, market analyst at Kinesis Money.
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