FOX Business: The Power to Prosper
U.S. equities were set to build on multiyear highs Friday as traders remained enthusiastic about the Federal Reserve's plan to jumpstart the dormant American economy.
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As of 8:53 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures jumped 36 points to 13481, S&P 500 futures gained 4 points to 1455 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 10 points to 2831.
The S&P 500 soared 1.6% to its highest level since December 2007 Thursday. The Dow is also at its highest mark since December 2007, while the Nasdaq is trading at its best level since November 2000.
The sharp turn higher for equities came after the Fed unveiled an open-ended plan to buy mortgage-backed assets at a clip of $40 billion a month. The central bank also pledged to take more actions, if necessary, to give the stodgy economy and labor market a fresh jolt of power.
Michael Gapen, an analyst at Barclays capital, said in a note to clients that the Fed move signals "new era for unconventional balance sheet policy." The investment bank said the plan is likely to be positive for risky assets, and negative for the U.S. dollar.
Oil prices rallied above the $100 a barrel mark for the first time since May as traders responded to liquidity from the Fed and increased geopolitical uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa. The benchmark contract recently jumped $1.71, or 1.7%, to $100.02 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline climbed 1.7% to $3.013 a gallon.
Gold advanced $2.10, or 0.12%, to $1,774 a troy ounce.
There are a slew of economic reports on tap for Friday.
The Labor Department said inflation at the consumer level rose by 0.6% in August, more than the 0.5% expected and the largest rise since June 2009, predominantly as a result of rising gas prices. Excluding the food and energy components, prices were up 0.1%, just under the 0.2% expected.
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed U.S. retail sales rising 0.9% in August from July, more than the 0.7% expected and the largest rise since February. Excluding the auto segment, sales were up 0.8%, topping estimates of 0.6%.
Also potentially affecting retailers are fresh data on consumer sentiment due out at 9:55 a.m. ET. The Reuters/University of Michigan survey is anticipated to show sentiment having fallen slightly in early September from August.
A separate report is expected to show U.S. industrial output holding steady in August.
In corporate news, S&P Dow Jones Indices said UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UHC) will replace Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT) on the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the start of trading next Monday. The company said the change was prompted by Kraft's move to spinoff its North American grocery business, which will reduce the company's market capitalization and projected revenues. UnitedHealth, an insurer, will bring more health-care diversification to the blue-chip index, the company said.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) appeared to sell out on the first round of pre-orders for its iPhone 5 within in an hour, in what could be a sign of demand for the device. Customers looking to buy the product through Apple online in the U.S. will now need to wait two weeks for it to ship, according to Apple's website. It debuts on September 21.
The Euro Stoxx 50 soared 2% to 2594, the English FTSE 100 rallied 1.7% to 5918 and the German DAX jumped 1.5% to 7421.
The Japanese Nikkei 225 lurched higher by 1.8% to 9159 and the Chinese Hang Seng surged 2.9% to 20630.