Stock futures rise ahead of holiday weekend

Equity and bond markets will be closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday

U.S. equity futures were trading higher ahead of the final trading session before the Memorial Day weekend.

The major futures indexes suggested a gain of 0.5% when trading on Wall Street begins.

Equity and bond markets in the U.S. will be closed Monday.

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Shares were getting a boost, encouraged by signs that the U.S. economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic was gaining momentum.

The number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits fell to a pandemic low of 406,000.

Although the Commerce Department reported that sales of durable goods fell 1.3%, it also released updated data showing the U.S. economy grew at a 6.4% annual rate in the first quarter as growing numbers of people got vaccinated, allowing the economy to shift back toward normal activity.

US DURABLE GOODS ORDERS DROP 1.3% IN APRIL

There are several reports on the Friday economic calendar: The Commerce Department will post personal income and spending numbers for April. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv anticipate spending to jump half a percent month-over-month, after a 4.2% spike in March. Personal income, meantime, is expected to fall 14.1%, following a record 21.1% surge the previous month courtesy of those $1,400 stimulus checks. 

The Institute for Supply Management is out with its Chicago Purchasing Managers’ index for May. The closely watched gauge of Midwest business activity is anticipated to slip 4 points from April to 68.0. Recall that 50 is the dividing line between an expanding and contracting manufacturing sector.

The University of Michigan’s final index of consumer sentiment for May will round things out. It’s expected to edge up a fraction to 82.9 from the preliminary reading of 82.8 two weeks ago, down from April’s final reading 88.3, according to economists surveyed by Refinitiv.

In Europe, London's FTSE gained 0.2%, Germany's DAX added 0.5% and France's CAC rose 0.5%.

In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index climbed 2.1%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced less than 0.1% and China's Shanghai Composite index was off 0.2%.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 33290.08 -533.37 -1.58%
SP500 S&P 500 4166.45 -55.41 -1.31%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14030.375849 -130.97 -0.92%

On Thursday, the S&P 500 rose 0.1% to 4,200.88. It was on track for a gain this week of about 1%. It hit an all-time high on May 7 but then fell for two straight weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to 34,464.64. The slide in technology stocks left the Nasdaq essentially flat. It slipped less than 0.1% to 13,736.28.

Bond yields have nudged upward this week. The 10-year U.S. Treasury note was trading at a yield of 1.62% early Friday, up from 1.57% Wednesday. But it has remained around that level for the last two weeks.

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In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil gained 42 cents to $67.27 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 64 cents to $66.85 Thursday. Brent crude, the international pricing standard, added 20 cents to $69.66 per barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.