Stock Futures Tick Up Ahead of Data-Light Day

Published November 22, 2013

| Dow Jones Newswires

Stock futures inched up on Friday a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 16,000 for the first time.

It's a data-light day, with only a couple of Federal Reserve speeches on tap.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 14 points to 15989, while those for the S&P 500 index rose 0.3 point to 1795. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index rose 3 points to 3403.50.

The data calendar is devoid of major events, with September job openings expected at 10 a.m. EST. Kansas City Fed President Esther George will speak on "the Financial Reconstruction of Europe" at a conference at the Bank of France at 8:40 a.m. EST. George is a voting member of the Fed's policy-making panel this year.

Fed Gov. Daniel Tarullo's speech on shadow banking at the Americans for Financial Reform and Economic Policy Institute Conference is tapped for at 12:15 p.m. EST.

More broadly, investors are keen to see how much further stocks can push past or hold onto key psychological levels with the weekend, and a shortened holiday week to come ahead.

The Dow industrials pushed to a record close above 16000 on Thursday, lifted by better-than-expected weekly jobless claims and easing jitters over the Federal Reserve's potential to taper its bond-buying program. It was its 40th record close of 2013.

The S&P 500 on Thursday closed just shy of its own milestone level of 1800. Analysts at Monex Capital Markets said there seems to be some cynicism as to whether this is now where stocks truly start looking overblown."

"Even with USD/JPY trading above 101, the Nikkei is struggling to make much more headway and as we move towards the end of the month--plus that Thanksgiving break in the U.S.--the temptation for many could well be to start booking some profits," the analysts said in emailed comments.

"Clearly no one will want to get caught on the wrong side of any reversion and whilst it would seem incredibly unlikely that the Fed will commence QE tapering this side of Christmas, this arguably remains the key catalyst for a sell-off."

Stephen J. Guilfoyle, chief economist at sarge986.com, noted in his closing that Thursday's "trading volume was just as unconvincing as it has been all week. It just seems to me that this three day rather 'sheepish' sell-off was simply a necessary pause, and the chart has gone about repairing the two year plus trend line.... Maybe the line bends here or there, but the trajectory feels like it continues."

Among individual stocks, Pandora Media Inc. (P) could come under pressure after the Internet radio company said it swung to a third-quarter loss in results late Thursday.

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL) could gain in premarket after its third-quarter adjusted earnings shot above analysts expectations, in results released late Thursday.

Gap Inc. (GPS) late Thursday said its third-quarter profit grew 9.4% and disclosed a new $1 billion share-repurchase program. Those shares came under pressure in late trading.

The Dow run appeared to underpin Asian markets, though Europe wobbled despite an upbeat German Ifo survey.

In other markets, gold was a shade weaker along with crude oil. The dollar trended lower.

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