Dow Poised to Post Best 1H Since '99


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U.S. stock-index futures pointed to more gains for Wall Street after three-straight rallies. Meanwhile, the blue-chip average looked to close out its best first half in 14 years.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:00 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 35 points to 14971, S&P 500 futures gained 5.3 points to 1612 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 7.8 points to 2907.

Despite recent volatility, the markets are still set to close out the quarter in the green. The Dow is up more than 3% for the quarter, and more than 14% for the first half of the year. The broader S&P 500 is up a slimmer 2.8% for the quarter and 13% for the year.

Traders were expected to continue keeping a close eye on the U.S. economy on Friday. Two economic reports are slated for release.

A report at 9:45 a.m. ET from the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago is expected to show the manufacturing sector in the U.S. Midwest having expanded at a slightly slower pace in June than in May, with the Chicago PMI gauge falling to 56 from 58.7.

Another piece of data at 10:00 a.m. ET from Reuters and the University of Michigan is forecast to show consumer sentiment having edged up slightly in late June from earlier in the month.

Both reports provide an early look at how the economy is performing in the end of the second quarter.

On the corporate front, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) revealed a surprise fiscal-first quarter loss Friday, sending shares of the embattled smartphone maker plummeting in the pre-market. Nike (NYSE:NKE) posted better-than-expected results on the top and bottom lines.

In metals, gold fell $9.50, or 0.78%, to $1,202 a troy ounce. The precious metal is trading at its lowest level in close to three years and is looking to close out its worst quarter on record.

Oil rose 10 cents, or 0.1%, to $97.15 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline was flat at $2.742 a gallon.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.32% to 2612, the English FTSE 100 ticked up 0.11% to 6251 and the German DAX dipped 0.17% to 7977.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 surged 3.5% to 13677 and the Chinese Hang Seng rallied 1.8% to 20803.

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