U.S. stock futures rose Friday, putting the the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track for another winning session. Futures linked to the 30-stock Dow advanced 78 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures climbed 0.3%, while Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.4%. The Dow enters Friday riding a seven-day winning streak, its longest since a nine-day run seen in December. The S&P 500 also advanced Thursday, closing above 5,200 for the first time since early April. Investors have been more optimistic lately after the Federal Reserve indicated the next move is unlikely to be a hike, pointing to a cap on interest rates that could be bullish for equities. A strong earnings season, as well as some softer labor data, have also bolstered confidence in the stock outlook. “What’s important in all of this context is, ‘are we in the early stages of a long-term bull market or not?’” Chris Hyzy, chief investment officer of Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank. “It feels comfortable saying it on a day like this, but we are, in our opinion.” Stocks are on pace for a winning week as of Thursday’s close. The Dow has gained 1.8%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were higher by 1.7% and 1.2%, respectively. A slate of central bank officials are scheduled to speak Friday, including Fed presidents Lorie Logan of Dallas, Neel Kashkari of Minneapolis and Austan Goolsbee of Chicago. Fed Governor Michelle Bowman will also make an appearance. U.S. Treasury yields were slightly higher on Friday as traders digested the jump in weekly jobless claims and what this could mean for interest rates. The yield on the 10-year Treasury added more than 1 basis point to trade around 4.463%. The 2-year Treasury yield also rose by 1 basis point to 4.823%. The moves come after yields on Thursday came under pressure following strong demand in the Treasury Department’s $25 billion auction of 30-year bonds. Hong Kong led Asia-Pacific stocks higher on Friday as markets tracked Wall Street gains, with renewed hopes for rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve bolstering market sentiment. The Hang Seng index hit its highest level in 10 months, up 2.32% after Bloomberg reported regulators were considering a proposal to exempt individual investors from paying taxes on dividends earned from Hong Kong stocks bought via Stock Connect. Mainland China’s CSI 300 marginally rose to hit its highest level since October 2023, ending at 3,666.27. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.41% to end at 38,229.11, while the broad-based Topix gained 0.54% to close at 2,728.21. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.57% higher at 2,727.63, but the small-cap Kosdaq fell 0.69%, ending at 864.16. The Australian S&P/ASX 200 ended up 0.35% at 7,749. Global benchmark Brent hovered above $84 a barrel on Friday after data this week signaled growing demand in the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest crude users, while festering conflict in the Middle East added support. Brent futures were up 51 cents to $84.39 a barrel at 0956 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 57 cents to $79.83. Falling U.S. crude inventories spurred by higher refinery runs coincided with data released on Thursday showing China’s oil imports in April were higher than last year on signs of improving trade activity. Gold prices strengthened on Friday and are on track for their best week since early April, as weak U.S. employment figures fueled bets of interest rates cuts by the Federal Reserve this year. Spot gold gained 1.1% to $2,372.16 per ounce, hitting its highest in more than two weeks. Prices have risen over 3% so far in the week. U.S. gold futures jumped 1.7% to $2,379.00.