Stock Futures Climb, Gold Slides


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U.S. stock-index futures climbed on Friday, potentially putting the S&P 500 in striking distance of its all-time high. However, gold futures stumbled more than 2%.

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Today's Markets

As of 7:55 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 27 points to 15071, S&P 500 futures gained 1.5 points to 1626 and Nasdaq 100 futures ticked up 3.8 points to 2962.

It has been a relatively quiet week on Wall Street, with the pace of economic and corporate releases slowing dramatically. Volume on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday came in modestly shy of the year-to-date average.

Trading desks continued paying close attention to Japan. The Japanese yen tumbled 3% to the lowest level in more than four years against the greenback. The fall is the latest leg of a nosedive sparked by a new monetary policy from the Bank of Japan wherein the central bank has pledged to do whatever it takes to push inflation up to 2%.

The sliding yen left the dollar up 0.35% against a basket of world currencies. Oftentimes, strength in the dollar puts pressure on dollar-traded commodities.

Gold dropped $33, or 2.3%, to $1,435 a troy ounce. In energy markets, oil skidded $1.10, or 1.1%, to $95.32 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline slumped 0.75% to $2.864.

The only event on the economic calendar comes at 2:00 p.m. ET from the Treasury Department. The U.S. budget surplus is expected to have come in at $106.5 billion for the month of April.

In corporate news, Hess (NYSE:HES) said it would break up its chairman and CEO roles amid increased shareholder from activist investors.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 climbed 0.54% to 2788, the English FTSE 100 rose 0.4% to 6619 and the German DAX edged up 0.53% to 8306.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 soared 2.9% to to 14608 and the Chinese Hang Seng ticked up 0.47% to 23321.

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