By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Friday, amid growing optimism over the economic recovery with President Biden set to unveil a fiscally-expansive budget.
Wall Street has pushed higher this week, with the broad-based S&P 500 up 1.1% week to date, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average 0.8% higher and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gaining nearly 2%.
Confidence is growing about the health of the world’s largest economy, with first-time jobless claims falling to a new pandemic low. Also helping were reports that President Joe Biden is set later Friday to unveil a budget that would increase federal spending to $6 trillion in the coming fiscal year.
The economic data slate is full Friday, with personal Income and consumer spending set to be released along with the Fed’s favorite gauge of inflation, the core PCE price Index. The PCE is seen increasing 2.9% in April year-over-year, considerably above the central bank’s nominal 2% target.
In the corporate sector, Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) will be in focus Friday, with its stock up 5% premarket, after the software company raised its full-year forecasts, following increased demand for its cloud-based software due to a pandemic-led shift to remote work.
HP (NYSE:HPQ) stock fell over 5% premarket after the computer giant warned the ongoing computer chip shortage could impact its ability to meet demand for laptops this year, even as it reported better-than-expected second-quarter results.
Crude oil prices edged higher Friday, on course for another monthly gain in May, the fourth of five this year, as investors wager that progress in combating the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, will spur energy consumption, although gains are light ahead of a meeting of top producers early next week and with the return of Iranian exports still a possibility.
Iran and global powers are continuing to negotiate in Vienna over the return of the Persian Gulf nation to adherence with the 2015 nuclear pact. If agreement can be reached and sanctions on its oil exports are lifted, primarily by the U.S., Iran could add around 1 million barrels a day of crude to the market.
This is something the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, have to take into account when they get together on Tuesday.
Dow Futures Up 180 Pts; Biden to Unveil Budget
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