This Friday the thirteenth could turn out to be lucky for stocks
A jump in crude oil prices, hopes of an agreement in Greece and better than expected GDP growth in Germany are setting up US markets for a positive start on Friday with the S&P 500 just shy of making new all-time highs for the first time this year ahead of the long holiday weekend.
Disappointing retail sales data sent the US dollar tumbling on Thursday but stocks took it in their stride on the implication that the first hike in interest rates may be delayed until the latter half of the year.
Numerous markets including oil, copper, the euro and the British pound amongst other USD-denominated assets are all on the verge of a possible pop higher as the US dollar weakens following a spate of poor US economic data (unemployment being the major exception).
Earnings were not fantastic overnight but momentum from heavyweights Cisco and Coco-Cola is still shining through having somewhat allayed fears over the impact of a stronger US dollar on corporate earnings.
Groupon reported better than expected earnings but issued a lower outlook for the forthcoming quarter leaving shares set for a lower open.
AIG missed earnings estimates but the insurer announced a $2.5bn buyback plan which could limit the downside on the market open on Friday.
There was a lot of action in the online travel-booking sector yesterday with Expedia extending its buying spree by purchasing Orbitz having just recently bought Travelocity in order to take on major player Priceline who bought comparison website Kayak. At the same time TripAdvisor beat on its fourth quarter revenues but fell shy of earnings estimates.
With sub-$100/bbl oil prices seemingly here to stay for a while, the surge in shares in the airline and leisure sectors suggest there are expectations of a big pick-up in tourism in 2015. Expedia is looking to capitalise on the potential low oil price-driven growth in tourism by expanding market share ahead of time.
Futures suggest the:
S&P 500 will open 2 points higher at 2,090 with the
Dow Jones expected to open 27 points higher at 17,999 and the
Nasdaq 12 points higher at 4,359.
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