Wall Street Seen Opening Higher

Futures point to a slightly positive start for U.S. stocks Friday morning.

The Federal Reserve’s announcement that banks can resume buybacks and announce higher dividends in the second half of the year based on upcoming stress test results is likely to result in some activity in the banking space.

Data on personal income and personal spending for the month of February will be out at 8:30 AM ET. The PCE Price Index and Core PCE Index for February are also due out at 8:30 AM ET.

Wall Street ended on a positive note on Thursday, as stocks recovered after early weakness. Optimism about the economy reopening sooner than anticipated lifted the market.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a substantial recovery, ending the day up 15.79 points or 0.1 percent at 12,977.68 after tumbling by as much as 1.4 percent. The Dow also climbed 199.42 points or 0.6 percent to 32,619.48 and the S&P 500 rose 20.38 points or 0.5 percent to 3,909.52.

In overseas trading, Asian markets closed higher on Friday amid economic optimism as U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to double his administration’s vaccination rollout plan and the Federal Reserve reiterated that its expansive monetary policy would not come until a full recovery from the pandemic.

European stocks are broadly higher, buoyed by recent strong economic data out of the U.S., and progress on vaccination rollouts. However, buying interest is a bit subdued in some of the markets in the region following a warning from the European Commission that the EU is at the start of a third wave of the pandemic.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are up $1.45 or 2.5% at $60.01 a barrel.

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