Dow futures gain 70 pts; PPI, Michigan sentiment data in focus

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Dow futures gain 70 pts; PPI, Michigan sentiment data in focus
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening with small gains Friday, continuing the previous session’s recovery ahead of the release of key inflation and consumer sentiment data.

At 07:00 ET (12:00 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 70 points, or 0.2%, S&P 500 Futures traded 15 points, or 0.4% higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 55 points, or 0.5%.

The major indices closed higher Thursday, breaking a five-day losing run, as the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 183.6 points, or 0.6%, the broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.8%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended up 1.1%.

However, these three main averages are set to end the week lower, with the Dow on course to lose 1.8%, the S&P 500 2.6%, and the Nasdaq more than 3%.

This weakness stems from worries that the Federal Reserve ’s aggressive tightening cycle to tame inflation could push the U.S. economy into recession next year.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen tried to calm nerves on Thursday, saying the U.S. can avoid a recession, given that there is no wage-price spiral and supply chain bottlenecks are starting to ease.

"I believe we're on the right track in terms of lowering inflation and that recession is not inevitable," she said.

Still, recent strong job numbers and rising wages suggest inflationary pressures are lingering, and attention thus turns to next week’s consumer price index but firstly producer prices later in the session.

The PPI release is due out 08:30 ET (13:30 GMT), and is expected to inch up 0.2% in November from the prior month, while the core number , which excludes the volatile food and energy components, is also expected to rise 0.2% from the prior month.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment reading for December is due out Friday, at 10:00 ET (15:00 GMT), and is expected to remain largely unchanged at 56.9.

In the corporate sector, DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU ) stock soared 12% higher premarket after the tech company beat expectations for earnings and revenue in the third quarter .

Lululemon (NASDAQ: LULU ) stock slumped 7% premarket after the athletic clothes company offered disappointing holiday-quarter revenue and profit forecasts, with shoppers seen turning cautious about spending on higher-priced clothing.

Crude oil prices edged higher Friday, bouncing off one-year lows, but are still set to close the week with heavy losses on worries that the global economy is heading for a recession in 2023.

News that the Keystone pipeline between U.S. and Canada was closed after a spill in Kansas helped sentiment, but the disruption in supply isn’t expected to last long.

The Baker Hughes rig count and CFTC positioning data round out the week, as usual.

By 07:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.5% higher at $71.84 a barrel, while the Brent contract traded 0.2% higher at $76.28.

The two contracts were set to lose about 10% this week, having previously fallen to their weakest levels since December 2021.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,811.65/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0560.

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