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Wall Street Prepares to Rise on Optimism

Wall Street was set to open higher in stock trading on Friday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq inched closer to a fresh record high on hopes of a bounce-back in post-pandemic economic activity. Investors shrugged off the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in several U.S. states.

Energy companies, Occidental Petroleum Corp and Devon Energy Corp, jumped 6.3% and 4.2% each in premarket stock trading. Brent crude rose above $42 a barrel amid signs of a gradual recovery in demand. A promise by oil producers to meet supply cuts also prompted a rise in crude. 

California, Florida, and North Carolina urged mandatory mask use. This was due to at least six states setting daily records for new coronavirus cases. Mainland China also reported 32 new cases of infections, an increase from a day earlier.

There is a risk of a resurgence of the virus outbreak. This calls for another round of restrictive measures. 

This has led to choppy stock trading sessions at Wall Street this week. However, the S&P 500 and the Dow are headed for their fourth weekly rise in a five week period. This follows a strong retail sales report and signs of an additional official stimulus.

Sebastien Galy, senior macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management, said they expect the overshoot inequities to continue. This is driven by the very aggressive monetary policy easing, fiscal expansions, and the continued reopening of the global economy. But this is also with some temporary setbacks.

Wall Street Stocks Movement

In stock market news, the S&P 500 ended marginally higher on Thursday. The Nasdaq managed its sixteenth rise in the past 19 sessions at Wall Street.

The benchmark S&P 500 and blue-chip Dow are about 8% and 12% below their record closing highs in February. The Nasdaq is about 0.5% below its all-time closing high on June 10.

Stock markets are likely to become more volatile during Friday’s session on account of quadruple witching. Investors are unwinding interest in futures and options contracts prior to expirations.

Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York, said today’s stock trading activity could be very telling. Ending the day weak or giving up much of the gains is an implication that investors are not confident. They are not confident enough to hold a long position over the weekend.

News from Wall Street reports Dow e-minis rising 354 points, or 1.36%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 38.25 points, or 1.23%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis rose 105.5 points, or 1.06%.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc jumped 9.1% on plans to reopen theaters at about 450 locations in the U.S. The company expects to return to full-seating capacity around Thanksgiving.

Later in the day, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will participate in a video conference. He will talk about ways regions and cities across the country can help their workforces recover from the pandemic shocks. 

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