Author of the article:
Anisha Sircar and Sruthi Shankar
Wall Street’s main indexes were set for a stronger open on Friday as upbeat retail sales data allayed some concerns about an economic slowdown, while Citigroup’s shares surged after quarterly results.
The third-largest U.S. bank jumped 4.9% before the bell as strong trading activity in the second-quarter helped offset a slump in investment banking.
Wells Fargo fell 0.7% as it set aside more money to cover potential loan losses.
On the data front, U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in June as consumers bought motor vehicles and a range of other goods even as they paid more for gasoline.
Investors are jittery over a potential 1% Federal Reserve rate hike at the end of July after grim inflation reports this week highlighted that price pressures were unabated in June.
Calming some nerves, two of the Fed’s most hawkish policymakers on Thursday said they favored another 75 bps rate increase at the U.S. central bank’s policy meeting this month.
“The debate of a rate hike of a 100 basis points was keeping the market on edge,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.
“If we should manage to close around yesterday’s levels, it’s more proof of the markets having priced in a fairly respectable earnings season, and an overly aggressive Fed.”
While traders have priced in a 75-basis-point (bps) rate hike at the Fed policy meeting scheduled for July 26-27, odds of a 100 bps rate hike have grown recently, with participants placing a 65% chance of a full 100 bps rate hike, according to the CME group’s Fedwatch tool.
So far this year, recession worries have pushed the benchmark index down 20.5% amid a flight to safer assets as traders fret about aggressive policy tightening campaigns, inflation and disappointing corporate earnings.
BlackRock fell 1.6% following a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit slip as market turmoil shrank the world’s largest asset manager’s fee income.
At 09:01 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 322 points, or 1.05%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 34.5 points, or 0.91%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 91 points, or 0.77%.
UnitedHealth Group Inc rose 2.5% after raising its full-year profit forecast for a second straight quarter, as strong sales at its Optum unit helped it top quarterly results. (Reporting by Anisha Sircar and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
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